Picture this: it’s 2001. You’re settled on the couch with your (home) phone and a bowl of popcorn in arm’s reach. You’re about to watch Bridget Jones’ Diary for the fifteenth time in a row, and you’re READY for a rollercoaster ride of romance.
Suddenly, the phone rings, interrupting your favourite scene – the one where Daniel grabs Bridget’s ass in the lift without asking as the culmination of a succession of inappropriate and lewd emails.
Brrrring brrrring! Brrrring brrrring!
Bad news, everyone. It’s 2017 on the phone, and they’re threatening to report Daniel to HR for workplace sexual harassment.
It turns out that a lot of the movies we love are absolutely chock-a-block full of sexual harassment and emotional abuse, so buckle your seat belts, gang: I’m here to ruin them all at once.
1. Love Actually
Remember when Alan Rickman calls a female employee into his office to check if she “loves” her co-worker, Karl? You… can’t do that, Alan. That’s sexual harassment. Shut it down.
And when the new Prime Minister says, “Who do you have to screw around here to get a cup of tea and a biscuit?” in front of all his staff? Like it’s cool to just sexually objectify your female secretarial staff? And then later fires Natalie because she’s just too hot and sexy and it’s… hard to not force himself on her?
THAT IS 100% SEXUAL HARASSMENT, MY GOD SIR, YOU ARE THE ACTUAL PRIME MINISTER GET A HOLD OF YOURSELF.
Also, remember Mark? That creepy guy who ruined his friend’s wedding video so he could film weird close-ups of Keira Knightly while she danced WITH HER NEW HUSBAND? Then tried to make up for it with some light stalking and a series of creepy signs at her door?
We don't like Mark anymore.
2. There's Something About Mary
Ah, it was so cute when a man sent a private detective to stalk a woman he knew many years ago, then joined forces with that same private detective and a group of other men to all stalk her, lie to her and manipulate her as a team!
Wait. No. That was not cute. Why did Mary forgive Ted for this? Everything he did to make her love him was... wrong and illegal?
3. Sweet Home Alabama
Remember how Jake was super romantic and refused to sign his divorce papers from Melanie because he loved her so much and didn't want to lose her and, oh, by the way, when you're married to someone you OWN them! Ha ha ha, nice one Jake! All's fair in love and war, mate!
Just kidding, Jake. That's emotional abuse. Give that nice lady a divorce and let her move on with her life.
Listen: We need to talk about Kevin Spacey.
4. The Notebook
Oh boy. Some people might call this the "most romantic movie of all time", but other people who live in this century will recognise Noah's behaviour at the beginning of the film as NOT GOOD VERY BAD and tell Ali to stay the hell away from that guy in the weird hat, no matter how mushy he goes on to be when they're both a hundred .
Hot tip: threatening to throw yourself off the side of a ferris wheel if a girl doesn't go out with you is abuse. Do not do this.
5. Miss Congeniality
I'm only going to say this one time - you CANNOT run a simulator program that's designed to see how sexy your female co-workers would look in swimwear. In your office. With your other laughing co-workers. And then give people undercover jobs based on how good they look in your creepy nude simulator.
Say it with me now: SEX-U-AL HAR-ASS-MENT.
Tell me more, tell me more, did she put up a fight?
Well, I certainly hope not, because that would be date rape.
This is fun.
The whole plot of this movie is a man who thinks women are lying when they say they're not interested. Eva Mendes says "no" when Will Smith asks her out, and he responds, "I will make you say yes." He chases her in a series of elaborate ways (giving her a walkie-talkie when she tells him not to call her; asking her out on Sunday morning when she says she's busy every night) that prove he has absolutely no respect for her consent.
"What she's really saying," Will Smith explains to the audience about women telling men to leave them alone, "is, 'Get away from me now.' Or possibly, 'Try harder, stupid.' Well, which one is it?"
It's the first one, dude.
It's so obviously the first one.
The other one is harassment.
Glad we got that sorted.