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'90s Movies That Became Unwatchable With Age

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The ’90s visual and comedic corniness, liberally sprinkled misogynistic humor, and completely uncalibrated Jim Carrey mugging make “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” enough of an endurance test for contemporary tastes, as critics who bothered to revisit it have consistently observed. But then the film gets to its big, mic-drop joke, and sinks to depths of open hate and cruelty that feel genuinely dizzying to witness nowadays.

The film’s big twist comes when Ace Ventura (Carrey) finds out that Lois Enhorn (Sean Young), the attractive and flirtatious lieutenant who had previously made advances towards him, is actually the villainous Ray Finkle, who — as the film puts it — went through surgical and hormonal modifications to disguise himself as a woman. Ace reacts to that finding with abject, heaving, writhing disgust — probably the most over-the-top reaction of disgust ever depicted in an American studio comedy. 

It makes no difference that the film never uses the terminology “trans woman,” nor that the scene is meant as a parody of 1992’s “The Crying Game.” In that moment, “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” crystallizes the notion that transgender women are the world’s most disgusting creatures — all in the name of comedy, naturally. It’s not just impossible to laugh; it’s unbearable to watch.