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Movies I Loved Before My Feminism Made Me Love Them Less

If I saw any of these today I'd be like "lol nope."

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1. Almost Famous

DreamWorks Pictures

When I saw it then: A guy who loves music gets to go with his favorite band on tour AND be their friend AND write a Rolling Stone cover story about them? What a dream. I adored the Tiny Dancer scene. Philip Seymour Hoffman and his speech about being uncool is all of us. What a beautiful story about music, pursuit of passion, and human connection.

If I first saw it now: Kate Hudson's character is a classic manic pixie dream girl slash tragic love interest. Why do all these men get to have all these lofty thoughts about Truth and Art and Purpose and all the women exist just to be their groupies? KATE HUDSON'S LOVE INTEREST TRADED HER FOR A SIX-PACK OF BEER????????

2. Fight Club

20th Century Fox

When I saw it then: Were you allowed to be a teenager in the 2000s and not be completely in love with this movie? It's soooo angsty.

If I saw it for the first time now: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton & co. are a bunch of whiny white boys upset that the world hasn't given them every single thing they deserve. Men being Men doing Man Things (fighting!). Is there a woman in this movie? Oh yeah, Helena Bonham Carter, who's basically a dark muse/sex object. Nice.


3. Love Actually

Universal Pictures

When I saw it then: Emma Thompson crying in her bedroom to Joni Mitchell is SO SWEET AND SAD. The Hugh Grant dancing scene is iconic. This is a moving, funny movie about love and Christmas. I love love and I love Christmas.

If I saw it for the first time now: It's really gross that everyone keeps calling Hugh Grant's love interest "the fat one." You can love your brother AND love that hot guy, Laura Linney — come on, live a little. And the plotline I always thought was romantic — when that guy treats Keira Knightley like shit but is secretly in love with her and ruins her wedding video by filming only her face, then comes to her house with all the poster boards — is actually SUPER GROSS AND CREEPY.

4. The Breakfast Club

Universal Pictures

When I saw it then: I mean, John Hughes, the Brat Pack, high school, 1985? Nothing not to love.

If I saw it for the first time now: Yes, it's a classic, and yes, it perfectly hits on all the terrible shit we all felt in high school, but for the love of god, WHY does Ally Sheedy need a makeover at the end to prove how conventionally pretty she can be? Oh, that's right, so she can safely become Emilio Estevez's romantic interest. And Molly Ringwald has to become Judd Nelson's, of course, because his fist-pump moment wouldn't be believable unless he Got The Girl!


5. The Notebook

New Line Cinema

When I saw it then: Ryan Gosling built Rachel McAdams a beautiful HOUSE and a ROOM where she could PAINT. He wrote her letters every day for a YEAR. There's the fight scene that I definitely quoted in my AIM profile, let's be honest here.

If I saw it for the first time now: Neither of these characters really have any personality traits, tbh. What does "if you're a bird, I'm a bird" even mean? And that scene where Ryan Gosling hangs off the Ferris wheel and basically threatens to kill himself unless Rachel McAdams goes out with him isn't cute, it's just really freaking manipulative.

6. Armageddon

Buena Vista Pictures

When I saw it then: I loved this movie. I. Loved. It. I don't really know why. It was in space? And the whole planet was in mortal peril? I probably liked it because lots of stuff blew up.

If I saw it for the first time now: Liv Tyler's character — Bruce Willis's daughter and Ben Affleck's girlfriend — is literally a prop they pass between each other. While all the men are in space, saving the world, Liv Tyler is hovering around NASA, biting her nails nervously and crying a lot.


7. Elizabethtown

Paramount Pictures

When I saw it then: It was soooooo cute of Kirsten Dunst to make Orlando Bloom a mega scrapbook/playlist/map/thing for his big car trip to get over the loss of his dad.

If I saw it for the first time now: Ah, yes, the original MPDG. No actual living woman would make such a huge, intimate project for a guy she still doesn't know that well, just so that he can learn to live a more fun, carefree life. Seriously, nobody. Sorry, straight dudes.

8. Pretty in Pink

Paramount Pictures

When I saw it then: Another John Hughes classic. I identified hardcore with Molly Ringwald's character as the ~edgy outcast~ and of course loved Jon Cryer as Duckie, especially for the "Try a Little Tenderness" scene.

If I saw it for the first time now: The film's narrative leads you to sympathize with Duckie — almost to the extent that you want him to "win" Molly Ringwald in the end — when it's actually extremely uncool of him to bemoan being friend-zoned the entire movie. Just let Molly do her thing, man, she doesn't owe you anything! And maybe you could just appreciate her friendship without having to get in her pants?


9. Big Fish

Columbia Pictures

When I saw it then: This is a gorgeous movie about storytelling and the meaning of truth and a life well lived. The ending hits that sweet spot of sad and uplifting.

If I saw it for the first time now: Ewan McGregor pursuing the woman who will eventually be his wife — who he sees across the room ONE time and then decides he HAS to have her — is creepy af. He works for months just to learn little details about her, which he later uses to get her to marry him, even though they are COMPLETE STRANGERS. (Another thing — the talents of Jessica Lange and Marion Cotillard are wasted on boooooring wife roles.)