Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Link--review of "Crazy, Stupid, Love"

From Steven Greydanus, a review that shows why I love Decent Films:
As the movie unfolds, crisscrossing lines emerge connecting these characters to one another in polyvalent, sometimes surprising ways. Pretty much everyone involved does gravely immoral things, and while Crazy, Stupid, Love has quite a bit of good stuff to say about its characters’ bad behavior, some immoral actions are depicted in an indulgent or otherwise problematic light.

In spite of these problems, I’m struck by the movie’s generosity and empathy toward all its characters, and by its frank, countercultural clarity that acts such as adultery, divorce, casual sex and promiscuity — however understandable they may sometimes be, and however seemingly rewarding they may feel at the time — not only don’t lead to lasting happiness, not only are obstacles to true happiness, but ultimately bring a great deal of unhappiness, not only for oneself and one’s loved ones, but also to other people as well that another movie might not consider at all.

This kind of morally sound, humanistic, nuanced analysis is why I check just about every movie I want to see, or have seen and thought about, against the reviews at Decent Films, just to see what he has to say about them. Reading about movies like this, which are more adult-fare (as opposed to his reviews of family films such as Pixar and Dreamworks releases, which are also valuable), I get to indulge in something like a thoughtful, mature, and faith-filled discussion about the wheat and the chaff in today's film entertainment.

Just a disclaimer: I have not seen this movie yet. The problematic content referred to is evident in the trailer, so I was wondering if it would be worthwhile. We've seen plenty of movies that aren't. Once I called my mom on the phone in the middle of a movie night she, my dad, and my younger sister Katie were having. I asked what they were watching, and she said Katie wouldn't let her tell me! I presume that because of its "problematic content," they were joking that it was best they not corrupt--me? my opinion of them?--by admitting to watching it. Turns out, I'd already seen it.

Films reflect the culture that creates them, and I find that they are an effective means of engaging both me (inasmuch as I consider myself part of "the faithful") and the society I am "in" but not "of." I'm grateful for movies that both portray that culture realistically and explore the more profound principles that are written on the human heart. It sounds as though Crazy, Stupid, Love at least partially succeeds in this. I hope to see it.

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