I’m not what you’d call a diehard How I Met Your Mother fan, but I’d seen enough of the show to know that the general idea was that every episode was a step on Ted’s journey to meet his future wife, aka The Mother. Or, at least, so I thought until I watched the series finale earlier this week.
Now I know that the show was about either a) a grieving father, trying to reminisce on meeting the love of his life to his asshole children who just want him to bang someone else; b) an asshole widowed father who takes nine years to ask his kids if it’s okay for him to start dating again or; c) an asshole father and his asshole children who don’t seem to care at all that their wife/mother is dead.
Again, I’m still not sure which of those three messages the writers wanted to convey, but I am sure of this: it doesn’t take nine seasons to get any of them across. If everyone had just been honest about their intentions from the start, well, we could have wrapped that show up years ago.
But HIMYM isn’t the only one to fall into this trap–though it is a bit unique in that it’s a TV show. Still, there are a whole bunch of movies out there that have been so cruel as to play this very same trick on us. So, without further ado, here are seven movies that could have been avoided if the characters had been more reasonable.
1. Home Alone
I had never watched Home Alone until just this past December, and I now that I’ve seen it, I don’t understand how it’s a classic. The movie makes zero sense. Why do Macaulay Culkin’s parents hate him so much? Nay, why does his entire family hate him so very much? How is it possible you could leave your house, let alone get on a plane to go to foreign country, without realizing you didn’t have your son? Stop being such crappy parents and this movie could have been avoided.
To some, Gravity was an amazing movie worthy of lots of Oscar nominations and wins. To others, like my friend, this movie was 90 minutes of Sandra Bullock grabbing onto and then letting go of things. If Sandy could have just held on to something, the movie could have been a lot shorter.
3. The Parent Trap
Divorce is a really crappy thing, and that’s especially true when there’s kids involved. I suppose the stress of getting divorced could even cause a parent to not think quite as clearly as he or she usually would. However, I’m still not sure that excuses the ridiculousness that is The Parent Trap’s custody agreement. Like, how did that conversation even go?
“Well, the good new is, we’ve got two kids, one for each of us. You didn’t really want to take care of two babies anyway, did you?”
“Oh yes, what a magnificent idea! And let’s definitely never tell them about one another. That’s normal, right?”
No, that is not normal. Did Michael Lohan offer parenting advice to these guys or something? Nobody does that. Why didn’t a judge step in and stop this whole custody arrangement from happening?
4. Beauty and the Beast
That’s right, it’s time to go after Disney. While a lot of these other movies involve parents who suck, Beauty and the Beast is a good reminder that sometimes kids suck too. For example, Belle, what are you doing letting your father go into the dark and scary woods at night with a death trap invention? I mean, I’ve only just met the guy and even I know he’s going to get lost with a capital L. The right thing to do would have been to make him wait to leave until morning. Then you wouldn’t have had to go after him and ended up a prisoner of the beast.
And while we’re talking about Disney movies that don’t make sense, can we please talk about Cinderella. Like, didn’t anyone wonder why the nice little girl whose father had died had to do all the cooking and cleaning at her evil stepmother’s house? Shouldn’t child protective services have been on this one and taken her away to a nice home with a nice mother who would have let her go to the ball like every other girl in town, no sneaking around with a fairy godmother required?
6. Sweet Home Alabama
In this lovely film, once upon a time, a young Reese Witherspoon and her hometown sweetheart fall in love and get married. Then they un-fall in love and want to get un-married. Except, they never actually do the un-marrying part. They don’t even think about doing that, actually, until Reese wants to marry her fancy New York boyfriend, who obviously doesn’t know anything about her hometown husband. So now Reese has to fly all the way back to Alabama and keep this giant secret from her New York love and his evil snooping mother. How, oh how, could she ever have avoided the fate? Oh, I don’t know, maybe getting a divorce years ago when she first left town? Yeah, that probably would have settled it. And it would have avoided the always awkward leaving-the-groom-at-the-alter situation later.
At the very, very beginning of this very, very long movie, it is made abundantly clear that there aren’t enough lifeboats on board for everyone in the event of a disaster. In the literary community, some people might call this foreshadowing. Personally, I would call it bad planning. I get that the film takes place back in yesteryear when we evacuated people in emergencies based on social class, but, really, where’s the humanity, guys? If only there’d been enough space on the lifeboats for everyone, then this would be a very different love story.