Wednesday, February 13, 2008

7 Mistakes Movies Make

Seven Mistakes Movies Make is a great column. My comments below on a few highlights.
You and I and our grandmother's friends would never think of going together as a group to sit and watch a live sex act. We wouldn't enjoy it -- and if we did, we would feel like perverts (for good reason). It would disgust us to learn that a group of coworkers had gone to see such a thing. But many Hollywood producers want us to believe that getting together to watch a sex act in enhanced form -- in giant color images, intercut with close-ups and punctuated by music -- is a perfectly normal way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Which is to say, many Hollywood producers are perverts, and want us to be perverts, too.
This is very true. We sometimes feel that it is okay to watch a scene in a movie, because the rest of the movie is pretty good. But, that one scene...

Hollywood chops God in half: He is no longer a person, just an energy source. Star Wars makes that explicit, naming him the Force and describing him as a non-personal center of ubiquitous energy. Other movies pray to the same God, without ever describing him so theologically.

Sounds like Oprah is making movies, but the culture in Hollywood is scared of the truth about God.

It's great for movies to have happy endings that encourage hope by showing us that life is hard but worth it. But many movies make the mistake of delivering improbably happy endings that tell audiences: If you dream about something, and if you really want it, your dream will come true.

Now the "health and wealth gospel" is made into movies. We can't re-make our reality or dream it into being.

love is all about serving a beloved, and not about using someone else to satiate our own needs and desires.

Yet, in the movies, "I love you" isn't about what I give my beloved; it's all about what my beloved provides for me. One of the best known scenes in modern film has Tom Cruise bursting into a divorce support group meeting and begging for Rene Zellweger to return (Jerry McGuire). He had her at hello. Unfortunately he got the love thing all wrong: "You complete me," he told her.

To which she should have replied, "Complete yourself, buddy, then look me up when you've matured past narcissism and are ready to love."

I should write that on poster board and walk around the campus of A&M with it. What a lie our society has bought into.

Go read the whole thing, you won't regret it.

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