Five films that could never be released in 2022

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Love Jones (Photo: New Line Cinema)

Being a Gen X-er/senior millennial almost requires us to scrutinize the media from our formative years.

Unlike our baby boomer parents, who don’t really care about changing social proprieties, we tend to have an almost visceral response to the things we enjoyed in the 1980s and 1990s that haven’t aged well. . Presumably, this has happened to all of us: we watch the digital version of a movie we used to exhaust on VHS, or we stream a jam we used to own on tape, only to grit our teeth. and let out a “Eeeeeeeee”.

Love Jones thegrio.com

Below are several such films that are garnering such a response. In some cases, it is a scene or a plot; in one case, you can just throw away the whole movie. Note that this list is far from exhaustive and does not include films in which the offensive is intended. (see: Blazing Saddles)

Violet Rain (1984)

My favorite terrible movie of all time. I saw purple rain more times than i can count in the last 38 years since my mom is massive Prince fandom shrugged off any concerns about their child watching R-rated content.

But it was as an adult that I realized that no one involved in making this movie didn’t even care about women. From The Kid’s endless petulance (and ultimate violence) towards Apollonia (Apollonia Kotero) to tricking her into jumping topless in “Lake Minnetonka” to Wendy’s marginalization (Wendy Melvoin) and Lisa (Lisa Colman) until it benefits The Kid, Albert MagnoliThe musical drama of is steeped in Olympic-level misogyny.

The worst scene, however, is when Morris (Morris Day) is confronted with one of his “sexies”, which Jérôme (Jerome Benton) picks up and throw in a dumpster. Twitter would be activated Fire if, say, Bruno Mars did a movie shooting this s— in 2022.

The Best Man (1999)

Maybe not as blatant as the other movies on this list, but The best man delves into the Madonna-whore complex and what constitutes a “good” man, and, I think, inadvertently hoists old-fashioned ideas.

The central conflict lies in a semi-fictional book that Harper (Taye Digg) wrote based on his quartet of pals. Professional athlete and convalescent Lance (Morris Chestnut) learns just before the wedding that fiancé Mia (Monica Calhoun) crushed Harper in college as he cheated on her left, right and sideways and is ready to blow up the whole marriage. Because God to forbid a woman demonstrates some sexual agency before hanging up.

Shelby (Melissa De Sousa) is a shrewish girlfriend, and while the first film did well with Candy, the stripper with a heart of gold (Regina Room) making the connection with the pusillanimous “nice” Murch (Harold Perrineau), they throw the goodwill of this plot out the window in the sequel, The best man’s vacation, when Murch jeopardizes their marriage after receiving a video of Candy living her best sex life before they met. Meanwhile, the capricious “bad guy” Quentin (Terrence Howard) is the only character living his truth in both films.

The best man isn’t exactly unrealistic in its basic depictions, but the original would light up social media if released in 2022.

Love Jones (1997)

Perhaps the most controversial movie on this list (read: you might get cut in the middle of the proceedings), the entirety of love jones isn’t terribly problematic, and I appreciate how he handles the complicated nuances of marriage via Isaiah Washingtonthe character.

Love Jones (Photo: New Line Cinema)

But one sequence is forbidden: by Larenz Tate Darius Lovehall shows up at Nina Mosley’s house (Nia Long) only because he hacked Nina’s address on a check she wrote to the record store. And Darius’ daughter, Sheila (Bernadette L. Clarke), who works at the record store, allows it.

The film presents it as a noble romantic gesture at all costs. But it screams “stalker,” and the 2022 version of Nina probably would have tasered Darius in the nuts and called the cops.

Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995)

Both by Jim Carrey star creation Ace Ventura movies wouldn’t fly in the age of Twitter – the first movie is plagued by homophobia. But the sequel features a plot involving a fictional native African tribe whose customs are played for laughs in contrast to Ace’s Western sensibilities. Any African stereotype that you imagine white Westerners harbor is probably in the movie.

Love Jones thegrio.com

Tommy Davidson depicts the “Tiny Warrior” tribesman, speaking no actual words instead of animal noises meant to portray him as a less human and more enraged rodent. That the film has the distinction of being America’s first exposure to the beautiful Sophie Okonedo does not absolve him of his sins.

Soul Man (1986)

The apotheosis of outdated cinema, the most offensive thing about this movie isn’t the fact that protagonist Mark Watson (C. Thomas Howell) complains about tuition and fees at Harvard Law School totaling just over $10,000 (which will likely buy you a textbook and a sandwich in 2022).

It’s that the whole conceit of the film involves a white man exploiting the benefits of affirmative action scholarships by enrolling and attending school in blackface. Considering we’ve had a countdown over the past few years that even caught up with the beloved Prime Minister of Canada and that we are obligated to have the same divine conversation with white people every Halloween, soul man wouldn’t have made it past a first draft script in 2022.

Apparently the movie was even controversial when it fell in the mid-1980s. But social media was decades away from being a thing, so it wasn’t there to prevent soul man to become a commercial success.

BONUS: Every film noir that exploited LGBTQ+ people

It would probably amaze your average 20-something to see how reckless Hollywood was with the LGBTQ+ community a few decades ago. Movies and television abounded with latent or blatant examples of rank homophobia.

A dirty shame (1994) featured Wayman (Corwin Hawkin), a gay black man who existed only to be belittled by Keenan Ivory Wayans’ Shame. All the speaking turn of The crying game (1992) involves the “revealing” of the deceptive trans woman.

Also, just imagine, every movie and TV show involving a guy dressing up as a tall, “unattractive” black woman is grounded in some degree of transphobia. I’m looking at you, Wanda and Sheneneh.


Dustin J. Seibert is a native Detroiter living in Chicago. Miraculously, people have been paying him to aggressively light-skin via a computer keyboard for almost two decades. He loves his own mom a little more than he loves music and exercises every day just so his french fries consumption doesn’t catch up with him.

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