Tuesday, December 28, 2004

My day at the movies...

One of the nice things that happens, sometimes, when on vacation is one gets to go to the movies...so my wife and I (thankfully someone baby-sat) saw "Meet the Fockers."

What's also interesting to me, as entertaining as the movie was (though great art it's not), was the inevitable trashing of the picture by the "critics" at Focus on the Family.

Now movie reviews are usually somewhat unreliable in terms of being an exact predictor of whether a movie will be good or bad. The New York Times' review of the movie highlights the "Jewishness" of the Fockers. Ho Hum. Yeah, a bit self-absorbed for my taste.

But Focus on the Family's "reviews" are consistently bizarre to say the least. Take this bit:

A major theme is deception. The plot turns on how Greg tells one lie after another to prevent embarrassing information from being revealed. He lies about his parents' professions. He lies to his wife about how he lost his virginity. Etc. Each lie Jack discovers makes him more determined to find out who Greg really is. But for the most part, it's Jack's desire to discover the truth that is mocked, and the film doesn't offer much critique of Greg's dishonesty.

It amazes me how they actually "watched" this film, since what is clear from the movie is that parallels of deception, secret keeping, etc. abound in all the couples' relationships in the movie; Jack's deception is unmentioned in this review, presumably because it would portray the "conservative" character as flawed.

Or this bit:

Roz and Bernie's comfort level with sex translates into an acceptance of sex outside of marriage, so when they find out that Pam and Greg are pregnant, they're unequivocally elated. And they make great fun of Jack for being so antiquated and repressed as to think virginity should be guarded until one's wedding night. (The movie doesn't usually take sides when it comes to the Byrnes vs. the Fockers, but in this case it clearly applauds Bernie and Roz while thumbing its nose at Jack.

Look, you've got adult kids in their early 30's. They're about to get married. They wind up expecting a kid. Why not be elated?

In fact, very little attention in the film is devoted to Jack's actual expression of opinion on this subject, rather, their anticipation of what Jack would say, which furthers the keeping of secrets. Which, of course, was Jack's career.

However, purusing the FOTF website, one can actually figure out why they're so whacked in terms of denial and deception themselves:

Knowing that God says, “Above all else, guard your heart” (Proverbs 4:23), we pledge to guard our
hearts from harmful media influences (music, films, videos, Internet, magazines, books, television,
video games, etc.) that work against our faith.

The fact is, that whatever works against "their faith" - regardless of whether "their faith" is true, is to be criticized.

This itself is a form of denial and (self-) deception, and cannot, in society at large be healthy - or moral- in any way.

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