Thursday, 6th May 2021

American Beauty and five other films it's not okay to like anymore

DID your favourite film star Kevin Spacey, and are you now swiftly changing that to something that requires fewer excuses? Don’t pick any of these: 

American Beauty

A beautiful elegy to American suburbia or a film about a creepy middle-aged man starring an even creepier middle-aged man? On everyone’s top ten of the 90s, it’s now a movie even dedicated contrarians say is ‘very much of its time’. Wouldn’t be acceptable even if Spacey was digitally replaced by Christopher Plummer.


Another film you can’t admit liking without immediately appending that of course you don’t endorse the lead actor. Most people would rather strip naked, paint themselves blue and run through Glasgow city centre on a Friday night than try and earnestly defend Mel ‘Sugar Tits’ Gibson.

The Crying Game

The key revelation that a soldier’s girlfriend has a dick is, in current times, a veritable pit of problematic. Gay or trans? Positive and affirming or a parade of outdated attitudes? Do you really want to have these conversations when you could be cancelled for them?

The Shining

Kubrick: genius or cock? Very probably both, but apparently filming this permanently traumatised Shelley Duvall, making watching her being driven into helpless hysteria more uncomfortable than it already was on purpose, and making you a bastard for enjoying it. Unless you just like the carpets.

Gone With the Wind

The fact it’s the highest-grossing film in history aside, it’s difficult not to feel uneasy about a film that romanticises the Confederacy and makes slavery look like a cheerful romp for black characters. But aren’t Vivien Leigh’s dresses pretty?

The entire oeuvre of Woody Allen

Long gone are the days when saying your favourite romcom is Annie Hall made you look intelligent, refined and sophisticated. Now you’d look like an unrepentant creep. And whatever you do, don’t mention Manhattan.