Many of us get our love of film from our parents. We start watching the movies they show us and that they love before we begin to develop our own taste in cinema. Many of us still go to the movies with our families on a regular basis. However, if you find yourself regularly sitting down to watch movies with your parents, you probably also make a point to consider exactly which movies you watch with them. There are a lot of movies that, regardless of how great they are are, may not be the sort of thing you want to watch in the dark while sitting next to your mom. Here are seven films you'll probably want to avoid for family movie night.
American Beauty is exactly the sort of movie you might think about watching with mom and dad. It's a Best Picture winner with great performances. However, there's more than a little about this movie that could get more than a little awkward with mom and dad. It opens with a father character fantasizing about an underage girl, so dad is probably going to spend the entire film being uncomfortable, and you don't want to think about your dad like that either. Then, mom has an affair. Sitting down with your happy nuclear family to watch this dysfunctional family is probably not going to go well.
The Wolf Of Wall Street
The Wolf of Wall Street is a brilliant movie but it's a brilliant movie about some of the most unredeemable, terrible human beings you'll ever see on the screen. You feel sort of bad as you find yourself enjoying this movie, but that feeling gets that much worse when you watch it with mom and dad. Your parents are unlikely to approve of the terrible behavior and that's before we get to the graphic sex, drug use, and drug use during graphic sex.
Ok, so you're probably not going to suggest a movie called American Psycho as something you might want to sit down and watch with your folks, but maybe you think your parents are cool and they're into edgier stuff than most. After all, it's got one of those great endings that is still debated today. This isn't just a serial killer drama, however, this is a literal "blood on the walls" celebration of violence and sociopathy. If your parents do enjoy watching this you, you may want to start asking some serious questions about your parents.
We would never in a million years watch actual porn with our parents. That would be clearly insane. By the same token, avoid watching movies about actual porn with your parents I don't care how many Academy Awards the director has been nominated for (eight, if you're curious). Boogie Nights is a great movie with some great performances but the sex gets about as graphic as an R-rating allows. The most notable part, of course, is when Mark Wahlberg actually reveals his junk for the camera to see. Try watching that one with mom and dad.
I could honestly put most (all?) movies made by Darren Aronofsky on this list and be right about the fact that you shouldn't watch them with your parents, but mother! may be one of the worst offenders. Whether or not you think mother! is an awesome movie in the traditional sense, it certainly qualifies in the technical sense. It will fill you with awe as you revel in the strangeness that you are witnessing. If that's your jam, cool, but there's a good chance mom and dad will have a serious problem when the movie shifts into high gear from "odd" to "full-blown bat-shit insane," including a single moment of violence near the end that will almost certainly make your own mother weep.
From the opening credits, it's clear that Seven is going to be a pretty dark movie. Still, it's got Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, and your parents probably love them. If this was a standard police procedural type story it would be fine, even with the violence, but Seven pulls no punches, with the Gluttony and Sloth murders being absolutely terrible things to watch. Still, the movie maybe could redeem itself in your parents' eyes if it had a happy ending and the killer was captured and everybody lived happily ever, but, yeah...
Dancer in the Dark
Dancer in the Dark doesn't have excessive violence or gore. There's no sex or nudity. There isn't even excessive language. This one might appear to the perfect serious drama for a film-loving family to sit down and enjoy. But it's all just so... awful. There's almost no joy to be found in this one, and while the quality of performances can't be denied, this isn't the sort of film you plan to sit down and "enjoy" with any group of people, much less your parents. You're all going to be a blubbering mess when this one is over, and is that really how you want to find yourself with mom and dad? Like Aronofsky, a lot of Lars von Trier movies could similarly fit on this list.