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The Messed Up Parts Of These Movies Nobody Talks About

No matter how observant a person might be, none of us notice everything all the time. Film is a visual medium, and in most movies, there's a lot going on all the time — all of which is to say that there are often plenty of things most people never notice the first time they watch a movie, or even after years of regular viewings. Aside from the usual goofs, a movie with the right blend of crowd-pleasing charm can get away with all kinds of things — bizarre plot points, characters committing atrocities, and even horrendously off-color humor — simply because the viewer is too distracted by the good stuff to notice the bad. Once you realize these moments are there, however, they're nearly impossible to forget — which is why you'll never look at the following movies quite the same way ever again. Here's a look at the messed up parts of some well-known movies that nobody ever talks about.

Love, Actually - America and England break up

Love, Actually is a celebration of love at its corniest, sappiest, and overly sentimental—completely devoid of cynicism toward the actions of its characters. That's super refreshing at times, even admirable—right up until it isn't. For instance, there's that moment when Britain severs political ties with the United States of America.

No, that isn't a typo. The Prime Minister of England (Hugh Grant) announces on live television, with absolutely zero forewarning, that England's relationship with the United States has gone sour (it's always about relationships in this movie), calls America and its president (played by Billy Bob Thornton, appropriately) bullies, and effectively ends the political relationship between the two countries. Oh, and he does this because President Billy Bob hit on the girl he likes.

It's absolutely insane to watch the way it plays out in the movie. The ramifications of this political move are massive, and yet they are never mentioned again. England and the States have a generally good relationship—save for, you know, that one time. To watch Love, Actually completely upend international diplomacy with no acknowledgement of what it means is extremely weird (if not kind of hilarious in its own right). 

The Lost Boys - Thanks for the heads up, Grandpa

The Lost Boys is one of the most stylish scary movies ever made. The soundtrack, the costume design, the concept as a whole—everything about it is just so dang cool. Even protagonist Michael's goofy weirdo granddad has some eccentric charm in the form of his taxidermy-decorated cottage. You know what isn't cool, though? Not warning your family about the bloodthirsty murderous vampires that live in your hometown.

It's played for laughs, but in the movie's closing moments, after Michael and his family have concluded a prolonged struggle against the vampire horde that infested their new home, Michael's grandfather reveals that he's known about the bloodsuckers the whole time. In fact, he seems to imply that they're a longstanding nuisance—in the vein of, say, termites. It's funny in the moment, but think about how insane that is. His whole family was almost killed by vampires and he knew they were around the whole time! A friendly heads up could have saved them a lot of time and even more trauma. (Admittedly, it might also have made for a significantly more boring movie.)

The Little Mermaid - Ariel is 16

The Little Mermaid is everything a great Disney film should be: romantic, genuinely funny, beautifully designed, and above all, charming. Ursula is an instantly iconic villain, and love interest Eric is far more well defined than Disney princes past, with the chemistry between him and his 16-year-old girlfriend all the more authentic because of it.

Oh, did you miss that part in the movie? Yeah, Ariel is 16. She's a child—a child who ignores completely reasonable advice from her father to slow her roll and maybe not try to marry a member of another species before she's old enough to buy a lottery ticket. Realizing Ariel's age kind of reframes the entire movie and makes her romance with Eric significantly creepier—and that's not even touching on the fact that she goes ahead and gets married at the film's conclusion. A 16-year-old bride is weird, no matter how good the songs are.

Back to the Future - The McFlys keep Biff employed

You'd be hard-pressed to find many movies more universally beloved than Back to the Future, so it makes sense that nobody talks about the weirdest part of the movie. Not the Marty/Marty's mom romance—everyone talks about that. No, we're talking about the inexplicable twist in the adjusted future at the end of the film in which the McFly family employs Biff to wax Marty's car.

Biff is, mind you, basically the antichrist. He's a horrifically evil dude who does heinous stuff throughout the film, including trying to rape Lorraine. And yet when we see the adjusted version of the timeline Marty creates—a timeline in which Biff still tries to commit sexual assault—he's kept around by the family as a hired hand. Adjusted-Future George McFly is rich! Wanting to humiliate your high school tormentor makes sense and all, but he can afford literally anybody else! Back to the Future is still basically perfect. But it's super strange to hear him say, "Oh that Biff...always trying to get away with something." Uh, he sure is, George.

Beauty and the Beast - Stockholm Syndrome

Beauty and the Beast was the first animated feature to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. That's nothing to scoff at. The power of this film can't be understated—some even call it the greatest Disney film of all time. Yet while there's no denying its tremendous craft, its love story is a little shady. 

The story of the Beast kidnapping Belle and holding her hostage until she falls in love with him is kind of horrifying when you realize it's a clear-cut case of Stockholm Syndrome—a psychological effect that occurs when a captive or hostage begins to develop close feelings for their captor. It's a subconscious survival strategy, and it's pretty much what happens to Belle. Beast is pretty horrifically abusive throughout her stay in the castle, all while his "friends" (various people cursed to take the form of anthropomorphic houseware) assure Belle he's not all that bad, despite all evidence to the contrary.

Beast often behaves in a way that threatens Belle's well-being, yet ultimately, she falls in love with him. When viewed through the lens of Stockholm Syndrome, the film becomes far less endearing and far more disturbing—which it really should be from the get-go.

The Fate of the Furious - Shaw becomes part of the family

Remember Han? Of course you do. How could you not remember the coolest character in the entire Fast and Furious franchise? The way he was always making quips and eating chips and occasionally making out with his hot girlfriend Gal Gadot—man, what a cool guy. And remember that time Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw murdered him? Because Dominic Torretto sure doesn't.

Admittedly, Shaw having to reluctantly team up with the family in the franchise's eighth installment makes for a lot of fun. His chemistry with Dwayne Johnson's Hobbs is so good that it's warranted an entire odd-couple spinoff for the two. But here's the thing: Shaw murdered one of their friends. He also blew up Dom's house and almost got his entire biological family killed in Furious 7. So why the heck is he tossing back Coronas with the crew in the last scene? Yeah, he helped them out of a tight spot, but does it undo that whole murder spree? We think not. We'd gladly watch a dozen more movies in which Shaw has to work with this crew, but it's incredibly weird that they don't go right back to hating each other at the end of Fate of the Furious. Han deserves better.

The Breakfast Club - Brian gets detention for bringing a gun to school

The Breakfast Club tackles some pretty rough subject matter with equal parts grace and gravity. Parental abuse, peer pressure, and bullying are all examined, as well as depression, seen through the character of Brian, a bookish boy who finds himself spiraling mentally when he fails to get an A in one of his classes for the first time. It sends him into a suicidal panic, and he brings a flare gun to school intending to take his own life. Suicide is a heavy subject, but director/writer John Hughes gives that exploration every bit of nuance it deserves—with only one detail ringing as false. How did Brian get caught with a gun—even a flare gun—in his locker and only get detention out of it?

It's a wholly unbelievable scenario. Detention, even Saturday morning detention, is for bullies, vandals, or perpetual rule breakers. But a kid who brings a gun to school? It's hard to believe that would warrant anything other than a lengthy suspension and a thorough further investigation, and that's if the perpetrator got off easy. Even a student with a sterling reputation would be booted from school immediately. Somehow he only winds up in a single detention session? It's clear Hughes didn't consult a real high school's Code of Conduct before writing this one.

Ghostbusters 2 - The Ghostbusters are right back where they started

The ending of Ghostbusters is triumphant. Our lovable band of outcast scientists not only save the world, they justify the research they've dedicated their lives to. They empirically prove the existence of ghosts, and they're heralded as heroes. It's cathartic—and it's completely forgotten by the time the second movie starts.

Ghostbusters 2 isn't the most beloved sequel of all time, but this is perhaps the most egregious error in the film. The 'Busters are right back where they were at the beginning of the first film: destitute jokes. They've been sued for the damage caused to New York City in the battle with Gozer and banned from busting ghosts. Ray and Winston have sunk so low as to be doing appearances at childrens' birthday parties! On one hand, it's kind of funny that, of all franchises, Ghostbusters was the one ahead of its time when it came to addressing the damage caused in climactic third-act blockbuster set pieces. But on the other, there's no way the Ghostbusters should be anything but public heroes after having shown the people of New York that bustin' does, in fact, make you feel good.

Mrs. Doubtfire - Robin Williams' character is a deranged stalker

Robin Williams brought childlike wonder to each of his roles, even some of the darker ones. In fact, he brought so much of that signature charm to one role, he made a cross-dressing stalker look like a convincing protagonist. 

Mrs. Doubtfire centers on Williams as Daniel, an out-of-work and freshly divorced voice actor who's given a pretty fair opportunity to share custody of his kids with his ex-wife: find a steady job within three months, and earn joint custody. It is, all things considered, very reasonable—the only problem is that Daniel is a crazy person, and even when he does find a job, he decides he can't wait three months to share custody. So he creates an alternate identity, Mrs. Doubtfire, an old lady who gets herself hired as the kids' sitter. Hilarity ensues—if you find brazen violation of the law funny. He even nearly murders his ex-wife's new boyfriend at one point (admittedly kind of by accident) and it's played for laughs! It's a testament to Williams' talent that this movie is not only beloved, but award-winning—but nothing can change the fact that Mrs. Doubtfire is based around a flat-out horrifying premise.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Casey Jones murders Shredder

Despite their beginnings as a sort of homage/parody of gritty Frank Miller-esque crime comics, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have always been a pretty lighthearted superhero squad. Their adventures tend to reflect this—you never go into a TMNT story expecting something dark, you go for the good times, good jokes, and good pizza. Their stories are often sincere, optimistic tales about brotherhood and the way of the honorable warrior that just happen to hide under the exterior of skateboarding teen ninja adventures. So it may be a little jarring to remember that time Turtles ally Casey Jones murdered their archnemesis the Shredder in cold blood. 

At the end of the 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, Raphael, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Leonardo have Shredder dead to rights—figuratively speaking, that is. He's fallen into a garbage truck and is completely defenseless. The police are on their way to take him and his henchmen into custody. The Turtles have won. And then Casey just up and activates the trash compactor, killing Shredder in cold blood, and laughs it off. It's almost funny how egregiously off it feels in a tonal sense—that this action comedy ends in a senseless murder that nobody recognizes for what it is. Shredder came back to life for the second movie so it all worked out okay for him, but still. Casey should know better. 

Revenge of the Nerds - Lewis rapes Betty

There's something heartwarming about a story in which the underdogs come out on top. And that's basically the entire point of Revenge of the Nerds: a bunch of lovable losers band together to take on the jocks of the Alpha Beta fraternity by forming their own, Lambda Lambda Lambda. They're the kind of guys you can't help but root for, even if one of the protagonists commits sexual assault.

Oh yeah, the filmmakers kind of casually slip that into the plot at one point. Robert Carradine's Lewis dons the costume of an Alpha Beta brother named Stan and, in the guise of Stan, convinces Stan's girlfriend Betty to get physical with him. That is, in the immortal words of Pete Campbell, not great. It was played for laughs in the early '80s, but in a modern context it is, at the very least, gross. It doesn't hold up to the remotest scrutiny, even if you point out that Betty later learns the truth and is okay with it. It's a horrifying act befitting a supervillain, only it's carried out by the film's underdog protagonist. Nerds' cult following isn't going anywhere anytime soon, but it's tough to join up as a new recruit these days knowing this moment is coming. 

Grease - Rydell High calls the FBI

Set in the summer of 1959, Grease is a musical about a group of too-cool high schoolers running with cliques called the T-Birds (the dudes) and the Pink Ladies (the gals). It primarily focuses on a romance between T-Bird king Danny Zuko and new girl in town Sandy. But amidst that romance, a number of other plot points are juggled, one of which involves the fictional TV program National Dance-Off taping an episode at the Rydell High School dance. While plenty of high school drama ensues, the event is capped off with a few members of the T-Birds mooning the cameras, broadcasting their behinds to the entire nation. It's all fun and games until the principal gets the FBI involved.

Yeah, the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The guys that tend to specialize in serial murderers and matters of national security are called in to catch a couple of teenage doofuses who pulled a dumb stunt. As far as unbelievable moments in Grease go, this is actually pretty tame (the flying car at the end probably takes the win in that category). Still, it's one of the most hilariously bizarre moments of the musical, and it's rarely mentioned. The idea that a high school principal has the power to get the FBI involved in a mooning is hilariously preposterous.