Friday, May 16, 2008



Hey, I'm getting much better!

Anyway. The other day I was marveling about a certain aspect of our culture that I wanted to write about, but I just haven't gotten the chance to until now. So here I go.
(end awkward introduction.)

Chris and I watched Moonstruck the other day, after years of having people tell us that we have to see it, and also years of wondering how Cher could be a good enough actress to warrant any kind of award. So Chris got it on his Netflix, and we sat down to watch it.

There were some charming moments mixed into all the ridiculousness, but most of the time we were sitting there confused (and really upset by how early Nick Cage started acting that badly). The final scene kind of tied everything together and saved the film a little bit in our eyes, mostly because it was really funny, but I still had major problems with the entire plot, and here's why.

There is something about our culture and the films of our culture which leave us rooting for people in the movies that we would never root for in real life. Cher is a lonely, aging widow, who thinks that she can find happiness by marrying a man she doesn't love. She becomes engaged to him, which signals a promise in our culture. We understand pretty early on that the man she's engaged to is not the man she'll end up with at the end of the film, which sets up the whole plot from the beginning.

So Cher meets Ronnie, Johnny's brother, played by Nick Cage, and we see the sparks fly and she sleeps with him and he falls in love with her. Immediately, everyone is supposed to be rooting for this relationship to happen, because Cher is actually in LOVE with Ronnie. LOVE trumps promises and propriety. What if a close friend of mine behaved that way? I wouldn't be like, "Aw, its so cute that you're in love with him. Who cares about your fiance, everyone knows that you're in LOVE with his brother, so that makes it all okay in the end." It was especially odd because I was sitting next to my own fiance while watching all of this!

It happens thus in many films, not only ones made fairly recently. If a man or woman cheats on their partner or spouse, but its for LOVE, then it becomes automatically alright. Even we as movie-going Christians can probably admit to wanting the guy to end up with the nice cool girl instead of his demanding and domineering wife. Just leave the mess you've made and give up because you've fallen in love with someone infinitely cooler? It's just not biblical! If real people were acting this way, we'd be up in arms and telling them to go to counseling and save their marriage at all costs! Why is it different in the movies?

I think it is just another subtle way that a secular worldview worms its way back into our hearts and minds. I feel like I need to be much more vigilant about what I watch. Its strange how the Holy Spirit has worked in my life to get me to this point, but there you go. Moonstruck wasn't really worth watching after all, except for ONE redeeming part of the film: Cher's mom, who knows her husband is cheating on her, has the chance to invite a gentleman up to her room one night to have an affair of her own. She, however, does NOT choose to do so. He says, "Oh I'm sure there are people around and we wouldn't want to get caught." She says, "No, I'm not inviting you into my house because I know who I am..."

We as Christians really need to know who we are in Christ, so as not to get moonstruck by who the world expects us to be.


paul said...

That reminds me of what I read here a few days ago:

Most people think that the idea that you can stay passionately in love with someone for the rest your life is a myth. That's why screenwriters rarely let the star couple in an ongoing show actually "get together," because after that we think the relationship gets boring. It's also why when you see two people totally into each other at a restaurant or something you think "they must be dating," or "they must be newlywed," or "they must be having an affair."

How sad is it that infidelity passes as "love" and marriage is considered boring these days.... We truly do need to go back to the love of God to know what true love is!

clb said...

Whoever said marriage is boring probably was not doing it right!

Kevin J said...

Sadly, people change partners and abandon marriages like they are changing out an old pair of shoes. Its simply one more way of people demonstrating where they are at spiritually.



Megan said...

"I think it is just another subtle way that a secular worldview worms its way back into our hearts and minds. I feel like I need to be much more vigilant about what I watch."

I was actually quite disppointed to read his, Cassie. You say it like it's Christians v Secular people. It's not! We all exist as loved beings on this earth and we are all worthy of EVERY GOOD THING life can ever give us. The world isn't Christian, so why's it such a "bad" thing that people make secular movies?? And it's certainly not a case of the secular worldview "worming in". The moviemakers didn't create the film with that intention-- they just made a movie!! Which followed themes of everyday life. Why is it everyday life? Because the world isn't Christian. I know you think it SHOULD be, but it isn't and never will be. And I'm also curious about your term "OUR hearts and minds". Whose hearts and minds? Who's "our"? The Christians'? The secular worldview is explicitely trying to worm into Christians' hearts and minds? Geez. No, they just made a movie, and that's how YOU'RE interpreting it. "The world is evil and has many bad messages, so I must be on my guard". I just really don't like it.

clb said...

We must agree to disagree, Megs.
a.) Humans are NOT worthy of every good thing that life has to give us. Because of our sin, we are worthy of only death without receiving the saving grace of Christ. We are not even worthy of receiving it, but God in His mercy has made it available to us, anyway.
b.)I don't think the world should be Christian. Of course, I want everyone to come to have a relationship with the God of the universe through the acceptance of His Son.
c.)I think your last statement (the one supposedly in my 'Christian' voice) is the truest one you made, as silly as you tried to make it sound. The world is an evil place. Many of the ideas that it propagates are lies. I must be on my guard to always remember the Truth. It might sound like conspiracy theory, paranoia, or hyper-judgment to you, and that's fine. Like I said, agree to disagree.

Megan said...

Sure. I think what I mean to say is that the world is not out to INTENTIONALLY get you, which is what you made your blog sound like you believe. I think of it more like that the world can INADVERTANTLY get you, and yes that's very much something Christians should guard themselves from. The former? Nooooot so much.

clb said...

Alright, then we agree! =)