Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Love and Not-Love At the Movies


I hardly dare to watch modern movies any more. With a few exceptions, such as the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings/Hobbit movies, almost all of them portray something about the relationship between men and women that revolts me. My biggest objection is that the intimacy that should be reserved for faithful, sacramental, marriage is something that men and women jump into in most movies, as if the act of intimacy doesn’t create any real connection with the other person. The one-fleshment spoken of in Scripture is ignored. In movies these days, when a man and woman come together in that provisional manner, that's supposed to be a happy ending.

As it goes in most romantic movies, even after a big buildup, after two people are attracted to each other, obstacles are overcome, and they realize they really like each other, boom, they go to bed. In most cases, consummating the attraction comes far too soon in the modern movie (or real life, from what I hear tell) for the couple to say I love you. Or if the three little words are said, they imply no real commitment.

The much-awaited consummation only means “we want to be with each other with no strings, and after an undetermindedly long time of trying each other out, we may decide to marry. In the meantime, we’d better hope we beat the significant chance of conceiving a child we ‘aren’t ready for’ even if we use birth control religiously, because then we'd have to make the 'hard-choice.'”

This is not to mention the other unspoken risks, the possibility that the desired person may be carrying a venereal disease from a previous partner. As most of us are aware, when you are intimate with another, you sleep with every one that person has ever slept with and every person every one of those persons has ever slept with, an exponentially mounting number of partners that could reach 100 or more.

Then there is the real possible loss of "some of the best months and years" of their life and their fertility (for the woman) to a lover who may not turn out to really love them after all.

Conditional not-love or love, it’s all depressing to me. I grew up in a time when happily-ever-after  at the movies usually meant love and marriage and a series of baby carriages. And I lived through the years when morality was turned upside down, and what had been seen as hurtful, shameful, and sinful became normal and expected. Nobody has written much about the casualties of the sexual revolution, but the casualties are many, and the count is mounting higher every day.

In reality, having to put up barriers between yourself and your so-called lover, to prevent a pregnancy, to protect yourself against a devastating disease, or to keep your emotions in check to fend off a broken heart almost guarantees there is no real giving, no real union. And no real contentment. How can there be when you are not sure the person will be there with you a year from now, or even for breakfast the next day?

I’ll be watching a movie, greatly interested in the story as it’s going along, and suddenly comes a seduction scene. I don't watch porn or R rated movies, so I  don’t see any genitals, but I do glimpse people being passionate with each other until they fall into bed, and maybe even after they fall into bed you see some things. And then there is the waking up in bed together part.

When they start kissing passionately and shedding clothes, I try to find the remote and fast forward. But even though I try to avert my gaze it takes a long, long time to get the scenes out of my mind. And it takes an even longer time to for me to stop being troubled about how the two protagonists who I have come to identify with as I watched them fall for each other can take those risks of breaking their hearts, scarring their emotions, infecting their bodies, and pretty much ruining their lives.





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