Now that the white-conservative-male-id-made-flesh has been elected president, many of us left-coast liberal crybabies are dreading heading home for the holidays and facing family members who've spent the past several months insisting that having a private email server is worse than bragging about sexually assaulting women. Basically, get ready for a hearty helping of shit-eating grin with that turkey and stuffing.
There's not much you can do at the dinner table to avoid confrontation, but between meals, at least you can put on a movie and everyone can go ahead and not speak. Better yet, how 'bout movies with sneaky liberal agendas? One minute your disgruntled uncle is watching Kevin Costner try to survive the postapocalypse, and the next he's contacting his congressman to encourage Trump not to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. Or something like that. Hey, at least you'll be distracted from your malice for a couple hours.
“Hi, Mom and Dad! I brought this DVD for the kids to watch, but I hear it’s great for the whole family. It’s about animals … I know, right?! I love animals! Hmm, that is interesting. It does look as though a corrupt government is attempting to divide a united populace with a planted news story. Say, what do you think about truth in journalism? Right, OK. Oh, wow, really surprised that the wolf characters weren’t evil after all! Hey, did you know that wolves actually heal our environment? I know, kind of backwards how we hunt them. Gosh, Dad, I felt all warm and happy when that female police officer was respected for doing her job too! So Dad, funny story, real quick, but — and oh man, you’re gonna laugh — but have I ever told you about the time my boss low-key grabbed my pussy?” —April Wolfe
Addams Family Values (1993)
Sure, this movie repurposed Tag Team’s “Whoomp There It Is” for one of the worst “original” songs ever committed to my memory, but it’s also got some great lessons and has “family values” literally in the title. You’ll be subjecting everyone to RuPaul’s lesser-known song “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get” — a Dramatics cover anthem for living your truth — while a tight-knit family of goths bands together against conservative, authoritarian politics. Right before you get to the Thanksgiving Day scene, where Wednesday and Pugsley enact revenge on behalf of slaughtered Natives, just pause the movie, pretend you’re getting up to go to the bathroom and then lock your family inside the room — you wanna get out of there before “Addams Family (Whoomp)” drops on the end credits. —April Wolfe
Dead Poets Society (1989)
Pretty much everyone loves Robin Williams. Even MRAs got some jollies when he dressed up like an old woman to fight against the matriarchal judicial system that so unfairly tears children away from their deadbeat dads. JK. Dead Poets Society is just like Mrs. Doubtfire, except Robin Williams is fighting for his poetry instead of his kids. Poetry! Just imagine the looks on your family’s faces when one by one those boys in their fruity suits stand on their desks as one of them weeps, “O Captain, My Captain!” If your dad says one goddamn word, just remind him it’s statistically impossible for everyone in his bowling league to be straight. —April Wolfe
Swing Kids (1993)
Christians are pretty fucking into swing dancing. Believe me, I dated a Baptist, two Jehovah’s Witnesses and a Mormon, and my Lindy Hop is tight. It’s really the hottest dance in town where you don’t have to touch anyone in a remotely sexual way. Tell your family that Batman is in this movie and let them get hooked on the big-band jazz before you unleash that this whole damn movie is about NOT SELLING OUT YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY TO THE NAZIS. If anything, they’ll see that fascists throw the absolute worst parties. —April Wolfe
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
This movie is basically the children’s version of Se7en, so you can tell your family it’s “biblical.” Thou shalt not eat all the goddamn chocolate in the river, right? There’s no better way to convince your family that poor people are humans deserving of others’ love and attention than having them watch the poverty-stricken Charlie hurdle over those greedy sonsofbitches to get his righteous rewards. To test the waters, ask your sister if she thinks Grandpa Joe’s pre-existing conditions should be taken into account before receiving adequate health care. Also, I’m waiting for a reboot of this film with an African-American Charlie, so we can make our families watch these movies back to back and ask them if they think Charlie and his family are at fault for their own poverty. —April Wolfe
The Pelican Brief (1993)
The Pelican Brief, am I fucking right? Sure, this 1993 political thriller starring Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington eschews the original script’s love scene between the daring young lawyer and the charismatic journalist, but there’s no denying the romantic tension between these beautiful, successful people who happen to be of different colors. Not to mention, truth in journalism wins out over a corrupt government that’s trying to destroy the environment. This movie just really checks all the hot-button issues on the list for conservatives, but wraps it all in a sweet, sweet John Grisham package no dad can resist. —April Wolfe
This three-hour mindfuck of a lazy river apocalypse story is the pièce de résistance of ultra-liberal movies your conservative family must watch on Thanksgiving. I suggest offering to bring all the desserts, then hiding the pies in your car with the doors locked until your dad is forced to admit after 180 minutes of Kevin Costner barely prying his mouth open to mumble his lines that global warming exists. Unfortunately, all watching this movie will probably do is spark that little dark spot of their brains that tells them they need to get a Sea-Doo. But at least come summer, you’ll get to ride around on a Sea-Doo, straight into a sunset that’ll soon swallow the whole goddamn Earth in all its ravenous glory. —April Wolfe
The New World (2005)
America's creation myth is just that: a story passed through generations that glosses over the grim realities of what actually occurred. In few movies is that clearer than Terrence Malick's transportive The New World, whose portrayal of the romance between Pocahontas and John Smith is as whimsical as it is dispiriting. Jamestown circa 1607 serves as the edenic setting, a land irrevocably altered by the arrival of men who sailed across the sea on “floating islands” and claimed what they found as their own. “It was a dream,” Smith says as the dream of utopia fades along with his memories of Pocahontas and Jamestown slides into famine. “Now I am awake.” Get your family woke. —Michael Nordine
Home for the Holidays (1995)
Ooh, yay. A holiday movie that won't make you puke. The adult children of the Larson clan invade their childhood home, baggage in tow, for an illuminating visit full of important lessons for the whole family. For instance, hey, you don't have to be friends with your uptight, conservative sister just because you're sisters — news flash, she doesn't want to be your friend either! And, yes, your son/brother/uncle is gay — in fact, he's married and is the only one who seems even remotely happy, so get over it and be happy for him. Also, Steve Guttenberg is everyone's asshole brother-in-law. —Gwynedd Stuart
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Your family probably loves the shit out of the Bible, so a Russell Crowe blockbuster about that big flood thing shouldn't be a tough sell, right? Au contraire, mon frere. The Christian-conservative media jumped on this one early for not being Bible-y enough and being too preachy about liberal things like "overpopulation" and "environmentalism." Still, your Gammy's dial-up might have been down that month, so maybe she's not poisoned against it. Critics really seemed to like it (but don't bring that up in advance). —Gwynedd Stuart
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
What's that you say, feminazis? The future is female? In this Mad Max reboot, George Miller envisions a future that's decidedly male — and it's also an apocalyptic hellscape in which a government of dynastic autocrats (hey look, Imortan Joe is flanked by his adult sons!) ration water and "guzzoline," reducing anyone who isn't part of the ruling class to a pathetic pleb begging for water, a Breeder cooped up like livestock in Joe's palace or a misguided War Boy willing to die for the false promise of glory in the afterlife. I mean, you're not outright saying we've inched one step closer to bringing about this dystopic future, but it can't hurt to plan ahead. —Gwynedd Stuart