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8 '00s Movies That Would Never Be Made Today

Some are painfully offensive and some are too corny for words.

It's a running joke that the year 2000 feels like it was only 10 years ago, but in linear time, it's actually been almost a quarter of a century. Yet while the fashion and music of the '00s are right on time for a comeback, the movies, not so much. If there's one thing that shows just how much the times have changed since the arrival of the 21st century, it's the films moviegoers used to regularly spend $10 (plus gas and popcorn) to see in theaters. These dated films aren't even excusable as classics, as the plot drivers are offensive enough to modern sensibilities that they wouldn't get made today. Read on for eight movies from that decade the likes of which we'll (hopefully) never see again.

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From Justin to Kelly (2002)

Justin Guarini and Kelly Clarkson in From Justin to Kelly
20th Century Fox

Unlike most of the films on this list, From Justin to Kelly isn't particularly offensive, other than the fact that the two leads couldn't act their way out of paper bags. (Sorry, Kelly Clarkson! Love Kellyoke!) However, this movie, which is ostensibly a musical rom-com in which Kelly (Clarkson) and Justin (Justin Guarini) fall in love, would definitely never be made today. Hollywood has changed radically since the arrival of streaming, and the forces that attempted to capitalize on American Idol's accidental hit status by contractually forcing the show's first winner and runner-up to make a corny movie likely wouldn't get their way again. At best, there might be a Disney+ concert special.

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003)

Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
Paramount Pictures

While many have fond memories of this rom-com, much about How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is painfully dated. Andie Anderson's (Kate Hudson) entire journalism career is unimaginable in the post-broadband world. Benjamin Barry (Matthew McConaughey), a ladies' man ad exec, is a walking sexual harassment lawsuit waiting to happen and far more likely to be the villain of a modern film than the leading man. Between that and the gender-stereotyped humor of what Anderson claims men want from women versus Barry's assumptions about how women behave, this one would not make it to production today.

Catwoman (2004)

Halle Berry in Catwoman
Warner Bros. Pictures

Leaving aside that most comic book movies are no longer made in a vacuum but designed to be soap operatic links within a larger interconnected universe, nearly everything about Halle Berry's stint as Catwoman would not happen now. The character's conception as a meek woman with a hyper-sexualized dominant side would never make it out of development, the fact that the DC character is nothing like that on the page notwithstanding. The framing of her body as an object to be leered out and the lack of any character development would never begin to fly. And let's not even start on the fact that her love interest isn't BatmanCatwoman wasn't even popular upon its released, flopping at the box office and earning Berry a Worst Actress Razzie, which she accepted in person.

Shallow Hal (2001)

Gwyneth Paltrow and Jack Black in Shallow Hal
20th Century Fox

It speaks volumes of the progress society has made in regard to body size that even more thoughtful films like The Whale and TV series like American Crime Story are overshadowed by the outcry over actors wearing "fat suits". Compare that to 2001's horrendous Farrelly Brothers rom-com Shallow Hal, a one-joke movie whose entire plot is "Gwyneth Paltrow but she's fat." There's a resolution that makes it seem as though the movie intends to push back against beauty standards for women, but that's hard to buy when the rest of it consists of other people mocking Hal (Jack Black) for falling in love with Rosemary, who only he sees as thin.

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National Lampoon's Van Wilder (2003)

Ryan Reynolds and Teck Holmes in Van Wilder
Artisan Entertainment

National Lampoon's Van Wilder begins with the premise of a student who has been in college for seven years without graduating. That alone guarantees it wouldn't be made today, as it is utterly unimaginable financially for anyone to be an undergrad for that long. Then, there's the National Lampoon aspect. The film wasn't actually a National Lampoon production—the company had been out of business since 1998— but its name was added to the title anyway to evoke the raucous college comedies of yore, all of which were already massively dated. And that's before you even get to the gross-out, overly sexual non-plot that is Van Wilder (Ryan Reynolds) and Gwen Pearson (Tara Reid) treating each other like dirt, while all the laughs come from racist, sexist, and otherwise offensive jokes.

I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007)

Adam Sandler and Kevin James in I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Universal Pictures

There are a lot of Adam Sandler films that probably wouldn't pass muster today, but I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry is the most misguided of the group. The plot revolves around the bigoted idea that the law recognizing "domestic partnership" was somehow an unfair extra benefit that "normal folk" were barred from instead of a poor substitute for lawful marriage. Chuck (Sandler) and Larry (Kevin James), two straight firefighters, attempt to game the system by pretending to be in a same-sex relationship, with everyone's squeamish, homophobic responses as the running gag. Thankfully, we now have many more real LGBTQ+ rom-coms to enjoy.

Freddy Got Fingered (2001)

Tom Green in Freddy Got Fingered
20th Century Fox

Just the title of Freddy Got Fingered alone is cringe-worthy, and that's before you stop to remember that the plot of this horrific Tom Green film revolves around false accusations of incest and pedophilia. Green plays Gordon Brody, who lies about his abusive father (Rip Torn) molesting his younger brother Freddy (Eddie Kaye Thomas). Nothing about this is funny, nor is the side plot where their mother (Julie Hagerty) leaves the family for Shaquille O'Neal (playing himself) in a scene that reeks of racist perceptions of Black manhood. Before you make it through to the credits, you also have to experience that weird twist ending in which the family are abducted in Pakistan by faceless goons. Genuinely one of the worst movies of all time.

Gigli (2003)

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck in Gigli
Sony Pictures Releasing

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez finally made it to the altar 20 years after their first run as Bennifer, but even if someone were tempted to try to put them in another rom-com and see if the third time's the charm, it surely wouldn't be anything like Gigli. It's not just that Ben and Jen's natural chemistry doesn't work on screen. It's everything else. From Larry Gigli's (Affleck) racist, homophobic, ableist language to abled actor Justin Bartha's embarrassing faux-Rain Man performance as the man Larry kidnaps, the plot of this film is shocking by today's standards. And that's before you consider that Larry's love interest, Ricki (Lopez), is supposed to be a lesbian who winds up falling in love with him because all she needed was a man who's good in bed. Sure, Jan.

Ani Bundel
Ani Bundel is an entertainment writer covering everything from celebrities to movies to peak TV. Read more
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