8 Christmas Movies That Are Way More Problematic Than Love, Actually

Christmas movies, particularly the ones you grew up with, are often covered in such a thick coat of nostalgia that it's nearly impossible to tell if they're quality entertainment. And on some level, that doesn't matter. If you have fond memories of baking cookies and wrapping presents with A Charlie Brown Christmas in the background, it's always going to be a film you revisit in December.

But while you settle into your cinematic holiday traditions, you should take note of some elements that haven't aged well. Old school Christmas flicks aren't immune to the racism, sexism, and other problematic themes that pop up in dated movies. And of course, far too often, they come up in modern films too. After all, Love Actually, though full of meet cutes and even cuter declarations of love, has some serious issues with how creepy behavior toward women is portrayed. "All I Want For Christmas Is You," sung by a precocious child can fix most things, but not everything.

Some issues in these films are so glaring that perhaps you've already had a heated discussion about them. However, armed with a little knowledge, here’s how you can make the best decisions about your holiday viewing plans.
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1 of 8
White Christmas (1954) — Watch as they get super nostalgic about the good 'ole days—of minstrel shows.

Dressed in distractingly sparkly outfits, the film's stars sing an Irving Berlin song about their love of minstrel shows, which featured white men in blackface promoting ugly racial stereotypes. They even name check a famous blackface performer "Georgie Primrose.”
2 of 8
National Lampoons Christmas Vacation (1989) — The family man and sexual harassment.

This scene is played as charmingly comical — look at the man so tongue-tied by breasts that he blurts out inappropriate words around the retail worker! But this woman is just trying to work, and this guy is throwing around innuendos left and right. The scene might work if Clark was portrayed as a creep, but the movie takes pains to paint him as the ultimate family man.
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3 of 8
A Christmas Story (1983) — It's never funny to laugh at someone's attempt at English.

I'm guessing Ralphie and company would butcher a traditional Chinese song. That is, if they were even brave enough to attempt to learn a new language.
4 of 8
Four Christmases (2008) — Fun times fat shamming a loved one.

It's surprising there are problems in this one beyond its complete and utter lack of watchability, but they sneak in the classic gag—making jabs at your girlfriend's past issues with her weight. Always a holiday crowd pleaser.
5 of 8
Just Friends (2005) — At least the horrible trope is gender balanced?

Throwing a guy into the awful "redemption through makeover" cliché is not a step in the right direction. And if an old friend ever greets you by saying, "I can fit my arms around you now," you shouldn't even be Facebook pals.
6 of 8
Susan Slept Here (1954) — The one where a grown man marries a teenager.

Susan is age 17 and a juvenile delinquent, and Mark is the thirty-something adult who wants to look out for the kid, starting on Christmas Eve. Possibly the start of an actual heartwarming Christmas film, if he helped her with her SAT prep — not married her.
7 of 8
Mixed Nuts (1994) — Mocking the mentally ill is not great comedy fodder.

And of course, there's some general transphobia thrown in for good measure.
8 of 8
I'll Be Home For Christmas (1998) — Grandma got run over by way more than a reindeer.

In addition to teaching kids about peace on earth and all the other holiday morals, you should avoid teaching them it's totally ok to get a ride from someone who's obviously under the influence.
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