Movies that have not held up well [NOT 14/4/21]

1980s style photo background with the word yikes written all over it

Hi, friends! I’ve been using netflix to watch random things while I workout and yesterday I saw they had the romcom Runaway Bride. I vaguely remembered that one from 1999, but younger me didn’t think Richard Gere was attractive so it wasn’t one I really cared about much.

Holy hell that movie has not held up well. He’s a real prick. I haven’t even gotten to her running away from her current mountain-climbing fiancé but shit the indignities heaped on her character by Richard Gere’s character as well as the other men in her life… wow. I’m pretty sure Pretty Woman, despite being about a rich playboy and a prostitute, is a better relationship dynamic. Also, Hector Elizondo is a tool in this movie and I am not okay with him being a tool.

And it’s not even that old of a movie!

Has there been anything recently you’ve rewatched or watched for the first time leaving you with a WTF YIKES response at times?



  1. Sean Connery James Bond movies. 
    Especially the sex scenes some of which could be consider rape.  Also the early prototype of Jack Bauer who liked torturing confessions (which doesn’t work well getting accurate info) out of people.  Slapping the shit out of the women makes me cringe and feel uncomfortable.

    • Roger Moore’s debut in Live and Let Die has some really racist moments.  It wasn’t a good Bond film either so I don’t miss it.

    • Even the Pierce Brosnan Bonds were icky. I remember one review of The World is Not Enough saying “watch out for all of the awful double entendre”. 

  2. One of my favorite movies & most quoted movies growing up was Animal House.  After the #METOO movement, that movie immediately came to mind as pretty fucking rapey, stalkery, and not something I can sit down and watch with my daughters on our Friday “Inappropriate Movie Night” as my wife calls it. 

    • Revenge of the Nerds is one that I love parts of and then other parts I am like holy fuck you assholes. 

    • Same with many John Hughes films, for not only misogyny and endorsement of rape culture, but also the egregious racism, particularly for characters of Asian descent. 

      • “The Donger needs food!”

      • Both Animal House and John Hughes came out of the National Lampoon universe, and that has not aged well in many ways. There is a deeply rapey, racist, elitist side to it which starts to make sense when you think of National Lampoon’s connections to Harvard.
        I think it’s telling that far funnier, more consistent American humor of the late 20th Century came out of Wisconsin — The Onion. It was made by people who understood America in a way that Lampoon types never could.

  3. Old movie with racist scenes, Holiday Inn.

    1970s movie that I didn’t like then and still don’t, Blazing Saddles (I am just not amused by farts and bodily functions).

    Old movie that holds up well, even with the cheesy special effects, the original black and white 13 ghosts. 

    Old TV show that does hold up, Get Smart



    • Definitely one of my favorite shows as a kid.  I loved the Pink Panther movies too, something about better being lucky than good.

    • I love Mel Brooks films.  Years ago, I was watching the Tony awards show with my MIL–it was the year that the adaptation of The Producers was kicking ass and taking names.  At one point during the broadcast I said to my MIL, “you know which Mel Brooks film should be adapted next?  Blazing Saddles.”  She laughed and said, “you can’t do Blazing Saddles on Broadway!” 

      “Why not?”

      “Because you can’t do the Bean Scene on Broadway.”

      “MIL, if they can do ‘Springtime for Hitler’ on Broadway, they can do the Bean Scene.”

      • They absolutely can do the campfire bean scene on Broadway. It would surely make a sound cue person very happy and/or ashamed. Honestly, I think shows like Avenue Q and The Book of Mormon, and perhaps Jerry Springer, The Opera have broken through some of the crustiness of The Great White Way and the West End. You can do crass and vulgar things, so long as the writing is clever and incisive to prop it up.

      • I can see the bean scene turning into hilarious nightly ad-libs. 

    • Ohh I should rewatch Get Smart. I loved it as a kid, though I’d be hard pressed to remember any details now.
      I always thought Blazing Saddles was stupid. I’m not above giggling at an occasional fart (especially if it’s Lil), but that movie sucks. 

  4. SF isn’t immune:
    Space 1999… for obvious reasons.  Subtle sexism (no female Eagle pilots.)
    Star Trek:  Sexist, especially sexist (short skirts.)  Racist.  Clueless at times.  Very much a product of its time.
    ST:TNG; a lot of the same things except 80s style.

    • I would love for someone to reboot Space 1999. That was my favorite show as a kid – even though I don’t think I understood most of it. 

      • I watched it for years and never understood a single episode. 

        I actually saw an episode recently and realized just how bad it was all the way around. 

    • Yeah… But I’d say Star Trek (original and TNG) both hold up despite the problems. Some moments are rough (especially regarding Kirk’s sexism), but there was also a lot that was really progressive for the time. 

      • That’s the thing that a lot of people seem to too easily forget about the Star Trek franchise.  When taken within the context of their respective eras, these shows were super progressive.  This is why I make a habit of cautioning younger people about their disdain for older people who say things they find so objectionable–which weren’t objectionable when those older people were young.  I tell them that the nature of language is to evolve, which means that the things they think are perfectly fine to say at 25 years old can make them a social pariah at 55 years old.  Doesn’t mean that the olds are excused for saying the now-objectionable thing, but what it does do is maybe give the younger people a half second of pause to consider how to respond to it.

        • Agreed. Though I do roll my eyes when I tell my parents that something they’ve said is no longer acceptable and they get all upset with me about it because they thought they were being progressive. Language evolves and acceptable language changes and getting cranky about needing to change it is a bad look. 

      • Yes. Sometimes you have to acknowledge good intentions, despite the fact that they’re the paving stones to hell. Considered in context, Star Trek did crack open a lot of doors that POC were able to take advantage of. 
        Honestly, it’s true of literature in general. Shakespeare was sexist as fuck, but there’s still value in his artistry. We evolve (hopefully), and art is a product of the moment. That doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile, just like your childhood photos. You cringe at them now, but those moments made you what you are. Art works the same way. 

  5. Off the top of my head…the scene in National Lampoon’s Vacation in which the Griswald family get “lost” in the “urban” area of the city and, of course, bad things happen whilst they’re the only white people in the scene.

    • Oh, you mean when they’re driving through ST. LOUIS. . . ?!?

  6. Almost any movie from the ’80s.  Mostly because the scores fucking sucked.  All that electronic BS that was completely drowned in reverb.  Just painful to watch and listen to.

  7. but younger me didn’t think Richard Gere was attractive so it wasn’t one I really cared about much.

    Haha. Same. I think because he was prematurely gray in Pretty Woman and Runaway Bride, I just didn’t get what the big fuss was. I later saw American Gigolo, and could sort of understand, but not really. I suppose it didn’t help 
    Also, so many films from the ’80s would fit this topic. Weird Science, Porky’s (though that was rather the point), but my golden raspberry would have to be Soul Man. WTF? Is this a modicum of why Trudeau, Northam, et al are hoping we’ll forget they did blackface in the ’80s? 

    • …oops. I meant to finish my thought about Gere:
       I suppose it didn’t help that one of my first memories of him was his extemporising at the Oscars. He was saying…something…about Tibet…I think. Today I would say it reeked of rich, white, male, movie star privilege, but child me just thought…what? When can we get to the much more exciting interpretive dance segments, which are clearly why everyone tunes in to the Oscars?

    • I think it’s entirely expected that movies like Porkies and Weird Science don’t hold up well, simply because they were intentionally sexist as hell when they were made. 

      But yeah, Soul Man was something I didn’t realize existed and I could have gone a few more decades without realizing it was made. 

      • Sorry to have been the one to break through your blissfully unaware state re: Soul Man. I seriously thought “no, this can’t be a real thing. Was this an SNL parody?” the first time I heard about it. Even worse, the two leads, C. Thomas Howell and Rae Dawn Chong, dated after meeting on set.

        • Wasn’t this done way after that?

          • Yes. Tropic Thunder was 20-ish years later. I’ll admit I haven’t seen the whole thing, but I’ve always skated around the uneasiness of “If they’re largely winking at you with the performance, does that make it any different?” I still don’t know. I was surprised RDJ got an Oscar nod for it, but it seemed Hollywood and the critics loved it?

          • Granted, I typically don’t much care for comedy movies, so I probably wasn’t likely to see that to begin with, but hearing about the blackface in it made me especially wary/reluctant.
            I’ve heard some people claim it’s okay “because it’s actually making fun of blackface”, and… I don’t know, that’s still not something I’m comfortable with…

            • Yeah, it was the same argument with the 30 Rock episode that had blackface, like it’s supposed to be cringey. But we’re not there yet if large swaths of the population still legitimately think it’s ok or funny… 

  8. How about the original Overboard with Goldie and Kurt – it was definitely cute but highly questionable. And, another one – Soapdish – I mean they out a transgendered character on national tv. 

  9. I’d have to say Pump Up the Volume, although it pains me to do so because this movie SPOKE to me as a teenager, and it’s also got a kick-ass soundtrack and Christian Slater still on his way up. But late-’80s/early-’90s fashions aside, it’s just that in the era of podcasts, vlogs and TikTok, the idea of anonymously starting a pirate radio station and literally trying to outrun the FCC just seems rather . . . quaint, I guess.
    Besides, somehow I just get the impression that the kinds of outcasts who would be attracted to holding court and speaking to the silent masses over the radio airwaves wouldn’t exactly be cute, intelligent and righteously angry as much as they’d be the kinds to follow Alex Jones, Ben Shapiro and their (let’s say) ilk.

  10. over here the terrence hill and bud spencer movies used to be really popular…soo i was practically raised on them
    sooo…i figured id watch them again…half of them are completely on youtube anyways
    ive watched one…and decided im probably better off remember them as being pretty funny movies and leaving it at that
    the slapstick is still pretty funny
    but omg…the casual all the isms and stereotypes

  11. Way too much. I can’t come up with more examples because it’s not even really notable to me anymore – I feel like so many things from even ten years ago haven’t held up.
    Oh, how about Seinfeld? I used to enjoy it way back when, but I found it unfunny and very uncomfortable when I watched it a couple years back. 

    • As someone who has lived in New York…
      who the hell just leaves their doors unlocked for random people to bust in?  Like, have you seen the interior shot of a Manhattan apartment door?

    • I have trouble watching it now, after the whole thing with Michael Richards at the comedy show. I can’t let that go, and I don’t think I should. Part of the job when you’re performing on stage is handling audience disruptions. It’s particularly true if you’re doing stand-up. Any comedian worth a shit has prewritten comebacks for drunks, heckling, bad audience, no laughs, etc. Hell, most singers and bands make sure they’re prepared too. Watch Dolly Parton handle a heckler sometime. That’s what you signed up for. 
      It’s not just that Richards is racist, he’s shitty at his job

      • Totally. I had problems with Seinfeld beyond Michael Richards (like how they’re all horrifying sociopaths), but that was definitely part of it. He’s a shitty person. 

  12. In general, I think the things that hold up best tend to be period pieces that were originally created as period pieces. Sounds weird, and I’m having trouble coming up with movies. But TV shows that hold up well are things like M*A*S*H, where it was created decades after the war as a reflection on current times. 
    The Andy Griffith Show still holds up really well, simply because it’s this little bubble in time and space. It’s even enjoying a pandemic renaissance.
    To twist the topic a little bit, I’ve got guilty pleasures that I still enjoy even though I shouldn’t. The original Kung Fu tv show, for example. So much wrong there but I loved it as a kid. The original Lost in Space — so goofy but I loved it (the remake is terrific). Super Friends — objectively terrible but oh man, I watched the shit out of it on Saturday mornings. That theme song starts playing and I’m on board till the episode ends. The Six Million Dollar Man — I rewatched large chunks of that a few years back and was surprised how much I still liked it. 

    • Oh yeah, problematic guilty pleasures are a whole other thing, and I have plenty of those… I suspect most people do. I like Kung Fu too. And if we’re talking stuff involving shitty artists, there are so so many. Some old Polanski movies, Joss Whedon, Johnny Depp, Marilyn Manson… 

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