15 Films You Really, Really Shouldn't Have Watched With Your Parents

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We've all been there. You and your folks are settling in for some quality family time. Someone suggests a film that seems like something everyone might enjoy. It's gotten some good buzz. Mom saw a review in The Times but doesn't really remember what it said. It seems innocuous enough.

Then it happens. The foul language flies. The boobs and buttocks emerge. The squirming begins. Suddenly you and the people who could barely get through the "birds and the bees" speech are watching sex scenes that would make Dr. Ruth blush. The awkwardness is intense, and it's anyone's guess as to which one of you will yell, "Abort mission! Abort mission!" while running out of the room. Probably you.

Like we said, we've all been there. Let our mortification and bad judgment entertain you as we share our most cringe-worthy cinematic anecdotes. Oh, the awkwardness.

This month, we're sharing steamy personal stories, exploring ways to have even better sex, and wading through the complicated dynamics that follow us into the bedroom. Here's to a very happy February. Check out more right here.
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Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures/Rex USA.
"I saw Black Swan with my dad and essentially blacked out from mortification during the Mila/Natalie oral sex scene."

Laura Hibbard, social media editor
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Photo: Columbia Pictures/MGM/REX USA.
"Christmas, 2011. My brother and I are going to see a movie. We invite my dad, who A) doesn't go to cinemas anymore because he hates strangers talking during the film, and B) made us leave the room during any scene of an adult nature when we were growing up (I was the oldest of five, and was still banished well into college). My brother and I extol the virtues of the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX, which is notorious for its no-talking policy. My dad finally agrees to join us. My brother and I high-five in celebration, completely forgetting the fact that the film we're planning to see is The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I had to stare at my soda the entire time. The strangest thing was that my dad didn't comment at all about the rape scenes or full-frontal nudity. We got to the car, and he said, 'That girl [Rooney Mara] is going to be a star.'"

Erin Donnelly, London contributor
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Photo: Miramax Films.
"Oh, and another one... Because my dad would make us kids leave the room if a 'scene of the adult persuasion' came on, there are movies I haven't seen all the way through. At the top of this list is The Crying Game, which my dad and aunt randomly rented one night. I was young — but old enough to know about the plot twist. Once my dad realized this wasn't your typical IRA flick (which, as Irish-Americans, we were generally encouraged to watch), he told us to leave.

As the plot progressed, it became clear that we weren't going to be allowed back in. The problem? They were watching the movie in the room where we were supposed to go to sleep. So we fought to stay awake for two full hours. I was tempted to yell, 'His girlfriend is a guy!" to get it over with."

Erin Donnelly, London contributor
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Photo: Focus/Everett/REX USA.
"21 Grams. Rented it with my parents one summer during college. It's totally the kind of complicated storytelling we could all enjoy and discuss afterward. Except...that oral sex scene with Sean Penn going down on Naomi Watts. I can actively feel the discomfort of it right now, just thinking about it. Staring straight ahead to avoid any accidental eye contact, but also trying not to look like I was watching super-intently — not easy."

Neha Gandhi, VP, editorial strategy
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Photo: Focus/Everett/REX USA.
"I saw Brokeback Mountain in the theater with my mother. During the scene where Jack and Ennis have sex for the first time in their tent, Ennis spits on his hand and then uses it for lubrication. My mom turned to me and said, 'Did you see that? Such ingenuity!' I wasn't really scarred for life because my mom is notorious for her hilarious observations about sex on screen (she famously texted me, 'Did doggie style precede missionary, evolutionarily speaking?' when she watched Game of Thrones for the first time), so it's more just amazing to hear her observations about things we watch."

Lauren Le Vine, senior entertainment writer
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Photo: Courtesy Everett Collection/REX USA.
"The Piano. I was 11. My mom was on a rare business trip and suggested my dad take me to the movies. She had heard about some period piece I would like. Three words: HARVEY KEITEL'S PENIS. It's all over that movie. I can't even remember how I got through it, but it probably involved actually covering my eyes with my hands. But, needless to say, we didn't really talk about what we saw after. It wasn't the best movie recommendation."

Lindsey Stanberry, senior editor
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Photo: Courtesy Paramount Pictures.
"The sex scene in Ghost, all the F-bombs in Good Will Hunting... My sister also saw Magic Mike with my father."

Julie Bogen, social media editor
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Photo: Universal Pictures.
"I watched Shakespeare in Love at home on DVD when I was 8 years old — the perfect age to be scarred for life. The movie involves challenging British accents, Gwyneth Paltrow posing as a man, and (what seemed to me at the time) long, intense love-making scenes during which my mom screamed at me to cover my eyes. She was SO mad at my dad for letting me watch the movie with them!"

Morgan Baila, trending entertainment writer
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Image: HBO.
"It's not a film, but I watched the entire series of The Sopranos with my dad. There's nothing like watching a stripper get whacked to bond a father and daughter."

Cindy Augustine, content editor
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Photo: Fox Pathé Europa.
"The Lover, which I saw in college with my dad and step-mom. They aren't particularly puritanical people, but I am still asking myself why I suggested we all watch an adaptation of Marguerite Duras' sexual awakening in French Colonial Vietnam together. Pretty much nothing but sex happens — between a white teenage French girl (who looks about 15) and an adult Vietnamese man. There is more skin than clothing. Also, it's stupidly in English."

Missy Schwartz, deputy editor, entertainment
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Photo: Paramount Pictures.
"Titanic. Handprint. Car scene. 'Draw me like one of your French girls, Jack.' Shudder."

— Anne Cohen, associate entertainment editor
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Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures.
"My parents bought Disclosure in a hotel when I was 5 and couldn't figure out how to turn it off, so they made me take my glasses off and sit in the bathtub!!"

Alexandra Polkinghorn, director of editorial operations
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Photo: Warner Bros.
"Ace Ventura: Pet Detective: I remember when it came out and we all watched it, and when Jim Carrey and Courteney Cox had sex I left the room. So awk."

Vanessa Golembewski, features writer
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Photo: Universal Pictures.
"The first time I ever brought my boyfriend home (and the first time he met my dad), we settled in for family movie night with my parents, as well as my sister and her husband.

"The evening's flick? A Million Ways to Die in the West — which, if you haven't watched, it's basically one very long, filthy sex scene with some gunfire thrown in to break it up. Sarah Silverman instructing her husband-to-be on lady pleasuring? Mustache masturbation? Not anything we all needed to see together. I am still scarred."

Elizabeth Kiefer, entertainment writer
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Moviestore Collection/REX Shutterstock.
“My parents and I watched a lot together that might make some squeamish. (Animal House, for instance.) For some reason, though, I couldn’t take the sex scenes in Election and left the room. Watched it later in life. Great movie. Pick Flick!”

Esther Zuckerman, entertainment features writer
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