There are some movies out there that have become notorious for being beloved by douchebags everywhere. It’s not necessarily ‘cause they’re bad, or even ‘cause they’re stupid. It’s just that, for whatever reason, douchebags have claimed them for their own and look to them for guidance and affirmation of their douchebagginess. Don’t beat yourself up if you love these movies – but be wary of anyone who loves all of these movies.
10. Old School
This one seems benign enough. It’s just a good old fashioned comedy starring Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn about a bunch of guys reliving their glory days. Ferrell winds up taking an animal tranquilizer in the ass, Vaughn makes kids throw bricks attached to their dicks off a roof, and Luke Wilson sleeps with a minor. What’s not to love?
The problem is that douchebags love this movie for all the wrong reasons. They love it because Snoop Dogg makes an appearance, and because it takes place in a fraternity. They love it because it reminds them of their favorite pastime: binge drinking. And last but not least, they love it because the unrated version has girls with their tops off. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but Old School is more than the sum of its parts – even if its parts are lovely to behold.
Leave it to the douchebags to make their mark on a film that would otherwise be a pure specimen of comedy. Todd Phillips, the director, deserves a light slap on the wrist for casting Seann William Scott, even if he only has a cameo. Scott has a face only a douchebag could love.
9. Garden State
Source: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Any heterosexual male who openly and proudly confesses to liking or, dare I say, loving, Garden State needs to get into a twelve-step program for douchebags, stat. Step one is admitting you’re a douchebag. Step two is accepting without judgment the slaps everyone in the room deliver to your face. Step three is to stop telling everyone at parties how much you identify with Zach Braff’s character in Garden State and how you, too, are numb to all the pain. Step four is to stop holding little paper cups up to your eyes and trying to force yourself to cry every time you corner a drunk girl in the bathroom at said parties.
Step five is to never, ever watch Garden State again, and to punch your douchebag friends in the face every time they tell you how much they identify with Zach Braff’s character in Garden State. For steps six through eleven, just repeat step two six more times. Or until you get to the point where even the mention of Garden State triggers a Pavlovian reaction of fear and anger.
Step twelve, repeat after me: Liking Garden State does not make me a sensitive, deeply emotional man. It just makes me an obnoxious douchebag.
Sometimes taking that first step to recovery is the hardest. And sometimes getting slapped repeatedly in the face for having horrible taste in movies is the hardest.
8. Napoleon Dynamite
Source: Fox Searchlight Pictures
What is it with this film that douchebags flock to it like bugs to a bulb? Here’s a fail safe douchebag test: approach the d-bag in question and ask him if he’s seen Napoleon Dynamite. If he has he won’t say “Yes”, he’ll just start quoting the movie at you. And he’ll continue to do so for the remainder of the time you have the misfortune of knowing him.
Napoleon isn’t actually a bad movie (it’s not a good movie, either; more than anything else it’s a series of character sketches with the same two or three characters), it’s just that douchebags are under the delusion that because they “get it” they’re hip. It’s kind of like the kid who actually read A Brief History of Time cover to cover and won’t shut up about black holes and photons. Just as reading one book does not a genius make, watching Napoleon Dynamite eighteen times does not mean you’ve got a sense of humor.
More likely than not, it means you’re a douchebag.
7. The Game
Source: Polygram Filmed Entertainment
What’s wrong with The Game, you ask? On its surface, nothing’s wrong with it. In fact, nothing is terribly distinctive about this movie. Within the ouvre of David Fincher this is one of his most generic films. It’s fun, it’s exciting, and it has a great twist at the end. And it’s completely forgettable. So why is it douchebags think this is the biggest cinematic mind-f*** of all time?
The Game was one of the more entertaining thriller/action films to come out of 1997, but let’s be honest: if it wasn’t for the fact that David Fincher directed it no one would ever bring it up during serious discussions of moviemaking. If anyone other than Marcel Duchamp had stuck a urinal in an art gallery it would’ve been called vandalism. Let’s put The Game back in the cinematic commode where it belongs.
I’ll be the first to admit that Swingers is, hands down, a great movie. It’s hilarious, only guys seem able to appreciate it, and it’s chock full of one liners that have become the gift from the ‘90s that keeps on giving. It is, as they say, "money."
So why do douchebags love Swingers so much? Just as d-bags tend to score predictably low on reading comp assessment tests and misconstrue the simplest piece of prose, so do they entirely miss the point of this film. In the end we see that, fun and loveable though he is, Trent is kind of phony and full of s***. He is, for all intents and purposes, the lighter side of douchebag.
But the point of the movie is that the non-douchebag wins in the end. That being honest and forthcoming and refraining from describing things as "money" (or sick, ill, phat, etc.) counts more than having the right pick-up line. Douchebags see Trent as Confucious and apply his philosophy to their lives, and we continue to suffer from such idiocy to this day.
At least zoot suits fell out of fashion, even if men still call their platonic male friends "Baby."
5. Fight Club
Source: 20th Century Fox
It should be stated up front that I mean no disrespect to David Fincher by having two of his films on the same list. Things just kind of happened that way. I am not my top ten list. I am not my smarmy observations.
And David Fincher is not a unique snowflake.
But Fight Club is a kick ass movie. Like a fine wine it has aged well, and some would go so far as to suggest it even predicted some of the calamities of the early twenty first century. (New York skyscrapers get destroyed, credit is annihilated, creative ways of making bombs become a popular pastime amongst terrorists.) Violence is really the key to understanding why this movie is so popular with douchebags. The movie, at its heart, is about the soulless disconnection men experience in the modern, corporatized world. Their jobs emasculate them and their materialism numbs them.
But all the douchebags see is bare-knuckle fighting in basements and clever ways of converting soap into flammable civil disobedience. The complexities of the metaphors go over their heads, and they’re left with Brad Pitt espousing bite-sized nuggets of self-destructive wisdom.
One man’s allegory is another douchebag’s excuse to get into a barroom brawl.
4. Wall Street
Source: 20th Century Fox
No one’s saying Wall Street isn’t a great movie, because it obviously is. Oliver Stone doesn’t have that many great movies to lay claim to, and the upcoming sequel to Wall Street looks like it’s going to be more evidence of his ham-handedness. No, the problem isn’t that Wall Street isn’t awesome, it’s that it taught a generation of douchebags the wrong lesson about modern finance.
The moral of the story is: Greed is bad, seeing as Bud (Charlie Sheen) goes to jail. But all the douchebags heard was: Greed is good, because Gekko (Michael Douglas) said so. Did the douchebags fail to notice that Gekko also goes to jail? For, like, twenty years?! Apparently they did, because our government recently had to bail out financial institutions to the tune of over $17 trillion to date, and it’s not like the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression is over, either.
Wall Street (the movie) is not to blame for the stupidity, greed, and irresponsible risk-taking behavior of Wall Street (the culture) of the past decade and a half. Only a douchebag would watch a public service announcement about the dangers of playing with fire and immediately afterwards buy the best Zippo he can afford.
3.The Boondock Saints
Source: 20th Century Fox
You really do have to be a douchebag to love this movie. Mindless entertainment at its best, The Boondock Saints takes many generic elements and blends them all into one tasteless movie, even if it is mildly amusing. Two brothers, Connor and Murphy McManus, after getting accosted by a couple of Russian mafia goons, inadvertently kill said goons and win the love and admiration of their Irish Boston community for ridding the streets of a couple of violent criminals.
For the rest of the movie they proceed, in increasingly implausible feats of Tarantinoesque ridiculousness, to shoot down any and all mobster lowlifes they come across. Despite the fact that they’ve presumably never fired a gun before, they are now crack shots – even when dangling by their ankles upside down. They have the enviable ability to aim a pistol and have their bullets annihilate any living thing within a ten mile radius.
The beauty of this movie is that it tries so hard to replicate Tarantino’s work and falls so obviously short, and yet douchebags don’t know the difference between Boondock Saints and Reservoir Dogs. They are simply different chapters in the same book, despite the transparent inferiority of the one to the other.
The sad coda to this story is that there is now a sequel headed our way: The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day. With any luck this gem will go straight to DVD – not that it really matters. Douchebags don’t watch anything they can’t TiVo fourteen months after its theatrical release.
2. The Fast and the Furious
Source: Universal Pictures
This franchise has lasted so much longer than anyone could have ever imagined. It really is the gift to douchebags that keeps on giving. The geniuses who market these films have all the imagination of a brain-damaged goldfish, as the titles change so imperceptibly from film to film that it’s hard to keep track of just which movie you’re watching. Let’s put things into perspective: the first film is titled The Fast and the Furious, the fourth and most recent is called Fast and Furious. Turns out the simple removal of an article and a conjunction is an easy, painless way to get from one end of a douchebag franchise to the other.
And oh, how the douchebags love this franchise. Why shouldn’t they? What’s not for a douchebag to love? You’ve got Vin Diesel (who was smart enough to ditch the middle two films – that is, before his “career” took the surprising twist of going absolutely nowhere), you’ve got Paul Walker (You first saw this douchebag in 1999 in which horrible high school movie: A) She’s All That or B) Varsity Blues? Answer: Both!), and you’ve got a bunch of crappy cars pimped out for street racing. If you’re a douchebag and you haven’t had a waking wet dream at this point in the paragraph, then you have a steelier constitution than your brethren.
As long as there are people out there who want to see boneheads drive pimped-out Toyotas in improbably dangerous situations while spitting out forgettable one-liners, interspersed with Vin Diesel and Paul Walker punching each other (or other people), this franchise might never end. I guess young men obsessing about cars is better than young men obsessing about guns, though it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the grease monkeys to the guys who wear camouflage as urban fashion.
Source: Universal Pictures
Admittedly director Brian De Palma’s best film (Oliver Stone wrote the script) in which Al Pacino plays one of his most famous parts, Scarface has become the cinematic anthem of douchebags everywhere. It stands for everything douchebags hold highest in movies: graphic violence, luxury, and unparalleled machismo. Deep down in the heart of every douchebag there’s a little Tony Montana that just wants to show the world that he can kill and screw anything, perhaps not in that order.
Buried beneath the violence and glitter of this movie is a morality play. Tony’s greed and self-indulgence become his own undoing. The very things that make him successful as head of the cartel make him unsuccessful as a human being. It suffices to say douchebags are uninterested in the finer points of De Palma’s fable.
The tragedy of Scarface and its popularity amongst douchebags is that, even more than Wall Street, this movie represents for them the epitome of the American dream. Tony accomplishes everything they wish they could, and he embodies everything they wish they did. Tony, the immigrant Cuban, in effect becomes the perfect American. There is nothing and no one he cannot buy, sell, or kill – the world is his canvas to splatter with as much blood as he likes. Within this platonic ideal of America, those who maneuver their way to the top are entitled to unbridled narcissism, whatever that might mean to them.
And that right there is the dream of douchebags everywhere. Gives me the chills more than any chainsaw ever could.