10 Holiday Films That Didn't Age Well
21st December, 2021
MGM/UA Entertainment Co.
‘Tis the season to watch holiday movies with the fam. But before you hit play, we’re here to apprise you of films that aged as badly as unrefrigerated milk. Watching holiday movies, especially during Christmas, is as much a ritual as putting up a tree, sprucing up the house, and cooking elaborate meals. We all have a list of favorite Christmas films that evoke a sense of nostalgia. That said, the very movies that we once loved for their wholesomeness and holiday cheer seem to be peppered with problematic moments. We're talking about casual sexism, racism, and toxic behavior. The films, like those mentioned below, that brought us joy now make us uncomfortable.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
The movie revolves around the Griswold family's plans for a big Christmas, which turns into a flop show. While it has a few gags, today’s audience has a hard time wrapping their heads around the inappropriate jokes and some awful relationship moments shown between Griswold, played by Chevy Chase, and his wife. Like many of John Hughes's movies that are borderline misogynistic, this one goes far out of the realm of possibility and becomes inscrutable.
Home Alone (1 and 2)
While this Macaulay Culkin starrer brings along a stocking full of nostalgia for the ‘90s kids, none of the unfortunate events shown in it would've taken place in the era of smartphones. Also, how do you manage to forget your child twice? That's not all! How do you not send a neighbor to check in on your son? Let's not forget the Wet Bandits, who had nothing better to do than torture a kid.
This movie has been rated PG, and rightly so because of the use of profanity and offensive language. Many moments from the movie have aged badly, and the worst is the portrayal of Miles Finch. The problem here is not Peter Dinklage, who has played the role beautifully, but how Finch is treated throughout the movie. Also, the scene wherein Buddy, a human raised among elves, sings along with Jovie, who is in the shower, without her consent is just inexcusable.
This 1954 Christmas musical-comedy used to be considered a classic but no longer is the borderline racism appreciated by today’s audience. It glorified the minstrel show, a tribute to the vaudeville-style entertainment wherein white people would portray gross caricatures of African-American people. It completely brushed off the history of Jim Crow laws, which were practiced in the country when the movie was made.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The movie gets a 10/10 for the visuals and festive vibe. If you enjoy slapstick humor, the film has that too. Unfortunately, it also has its share of inappropriate moments, especially where the baby Grinch has to witness a swinger’s party. That traumatic incident probably explains his behavior and lack of compassion as an adult.
It’s A Wonderful Life
The classic has us all in at the beginning until we realize that the main lead, George, is actually being suppressed by his family for doing something substantial in life. Maybe that takes a toll on him, as George is shown to be quite temperamental. From the way he interacts with Mary, steals her clothing, and yells at her, it's evident that he is far from a representation of positive masculinity.
Miracle on 34th Street
George Seaton’s romantic Christmas-themed movie has been working its charm on its audience for decades, but the younger generation is quick to point out the blatant display of sexism throughout the film. The fact that Bryan Bedford presumes he has done enough to marry a girl by doing her small favors is enough to put us off. Also, let’s not forget the alcoholic Santa, who has to prove in court that he is indeed Santa.
A Christmas Story
The film revolves around Ralphie, a young boy, who tries to persuade his parents, teacher, and Santa that a Red Ryder BB gun makes for the perfect Christmas gift. While the premise sounds uncontroversial, the movie is filled with inappropriate scenes that have not aged well! In A Christmas Story, viewers are slapped with a somewhat racist and stereotypical depiction of Asian people.
It tells the story of eight very dissimilar couples dealing with their love lives in loosely interwoven tales. You may wonder what’s not to like about this. Well, for starters, things like hitting on a friend’s wife and stalking her are not okay. To add to that, there is no dearth of fatphobia, unsolved adultery, and other problematic issues shown in Love Actually.