Some movies are great. Some are terrible. Some are so terrible they are actually great. And some… are simply stale. The beige couch stains of films, released with little fanfare only to become the last film on a Netflix category. These are those average films.
Yes, we have rounded up our favourite stale, average films – the ones no one cares about, not even in an ironic way. They simply exist, and perhaps only have a single fan – us. Maybe you’re looking for some mind-numbing movie to couch potato with this weekend, or maybe you just want to point and laugh at us like Nelson in The Simpsons. Either way, here we go.
1. Sydney White
In the mid-00s, there was this real influx of average college flicks. Some, like The House Bunny with Anna Faris, became shitty classics. Then there’s Sydney White, the Amanda Bynes-led modern update of Snow White and The Seven Dwarves. This film is terrible and not in a so-bad-its-good way. The premise is this – Bynes plays Sydney White, a teen who was raised by her plumber father after her mother, an ex sorority sister, tragically passed when she was young. She’s now ready for college and has high hopes to join sorority life like her mum did. Except – she’s a dorky tomboy c/o being raised by her blokey dad? Anyway, the sorority sisters are bitches and reject her, so she crashes with this weird fraternity full of outcasts who live in a ramshackle old mansion.
The outcasts are all straight stereotypes of the “dork” character – there’s a conspiracy blogger, some guy who speaks through his puppet, a mature-age student… anyway, of course Sydney helps them save their house from demolition and falls in love along the way.
The jokes are awful, the acting insanely sub-par, but Amanda Bynes was in her peak form when this film was made and she manages to carry it. Maybe. I don’t know, okay! I just enjoy watching all the sorority bullshit and fixer-upper montages. – Mel
2. Second Act
This movie came out late last year and it’s the perfect “stale movie”. It didn’t come out near Christmas when everyone is going to the big blockbuster movies, it was like late November when everyone is at the beach. So it kind of came and went without anyone realising, but it’s honestly one of the best movies I saw last year. Our queen J.LO plays a woman who is an assistant manager in a supermarket but is super smart and has made the supermarket really successful.
She misses out on a promotion so her best mate’s son makes her a fake resume and fake FB profile and of course J.LO gets a fancy job at a big cosmetics company but it’s based on LIES. From the trailer it kind of looked like a fun silly ‘how will she keep up the lie’ movie – kind of like her 2002 classic Maid In Manhattan – but it’s actually a really timely look at the ways women struggle in the workforce, inequality in terms of gender, motherhood and age, and there’s a really sweet secondary storyline that I don’t want to spoil that made me cry buckets. One of my friends complained that there wasn’t enough romance, but I think J.LO has done literally 150 rom-coms and I appreciated that this was actually more of a look about a smart woman finding success over 40. – Josie
3. The Internship
The Internship is not perfect. It’s a blatant commercial that glorifies Google while also running about 30 minutes too long – but it’s also full of one liners and features probably the last good example of the natural, on-screen chemistry Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughan share.
It has problems – namely the bizarre moment when everyone goes to a strip club (??) – and some gags fall flat, but Vaughan and Wilson capture perfectly the boomer real-life salesman turned digital tech bro. You will never be able to hear “online” without thinking “on the line” again. – Brad
4. He’s Just Not That Into You
This is a mind-blowing movie and I won’t hear otherwise. Is it because when I saw it in the movies at the tender age of 19 it basically summed up the dumb shit I was doing in my brand-spanking new dating life? To the point that my friend turned to me at the end of it and was like “omg, it’s you”? Yes. Do I continue to watch it to remind myself that I’m still doing that same dumb shit 10 years later? Yes.
But also it’s for that one scene when the best friend finds out her man is cheating and smashes the mirror then immediately starts cleaning it up. I’ve never laughed so hard, because replace mirror with stanky manfume bottles and that exact same scenario happened in my life. If you haven’t seen it, you need to watch just that one scene. I relate so damn hard. I could do without the magical happy ending with the main fuckboi though. – Kassia
5. Terminator: Salvation
This film in the Terminator franchise is not the worst, nor is it the best. It just… is. However for some unknown reason, I have seen this it about 15 times in my life since it’s release in 2009. Every time I’m off work sick, I’m drawn to it. It’s probably because it has enough mindless action mixed with some medium-level performances by Bryce Dallas-Howard, Christian Bale and Sam Worthington. It’s the kind of plot that’s been hashed out far too much in the extended franchise already, and yet still… I love it? Well, love it enough to go back again and again to watch the big scary machines pick people up with their claws and put them in some sort of jail. – Mel
6. Draft Day
It sucks. Objectively, it’s a terrible movie. Kevin Costner is phoning it in severely. Jennifer Garner appears to have been conned into doing it by some sort of casting devil. And the third lead role in is played by **checks notes** Dennis Leary? There’s a woefully pointless romantic subplot and the idea of the Cleveland Browns being able to pull anything of that magnitude off is too far-fetched even for Hollywood’s most goog’d-out fever dream.
That said, I love it. It’s great. I’ve watched it a dozen times and I’ll watch it a dozen more. Why? Because it’s about draft day trading: The most pure distillation of sports drama there possibly can be. And the trades featured in this movie are so outrageous, so tea-sippingly bonkers, so pearl-clutchingly magnificent, that it’s basically the sports-equivalent of a feature-length Real Housewives episode. Yes thanks, more please. – Cam