At the request of a friend, I'm going to start writing about movies or books that I've enjoyed on Mondays. We'll call it Media Mondays! And you can follow along and link up about media that you want to talk about, too!
Because we don't get any TV channels, we watch more movies than usual. I like it because at least I'm choosing what to watch, rather than mindlessly hitting the remote control. But because I'm so used to being choosy I don't put up with much. And I often turn off movies halfway through if they're pathetic.
Sherlock Holmes is one I should have listened to my instincts about and shut off. I didn't enjoy it one iota. They wrecked it. The Sherlock Holmes books are some of the great classics of the English language, but they tried to portray them using an action flick with a supposed paranormal tilt. All through the movie, I kept telling myself it would get better. And although everything had a logical explanation in the end, it wasn't worth sitting through to get to. So don't watch it.
Now for one that pleasantly surprised me: Couples Retreat.
It's rude. It's crude. If you watch it, fast forward through the massage scenes and hit fast forward as soon as Joe picks up the brochure. Just trust me.
But here's the neat thing: it's a movie that in the end says very clearly and loudly these things:
1. Marriage is worth it. 2. Don't get divorced for stupid reasons. 3. Don't have an affair and mess up your marriage. Your marriage, even if you're miserable, is worth way more than that. 4. If you've grown apart, the solution is not to break up. It's to find each other again. 5. Working it out with someone you already have is infinitely easier than trying to find someone else. 6. The single scene is awful. 7. Having someone to love is amazing. Who wants to go to Appleby's alone?
If a movie says that, then it's time to say a prayer of thanksgiving!
The problem, of course, is that the movie is peppered with lots of things Christians would find objectionable. But the overall message is a good one.
Does that mean you should see it? Not necessarily. It has some funny moments, and I think overall it's a good film, but it is crude, and it depends on what you and your spouse like. I also find it interesting that the four men are all kind of dumpy, or at least ordinary looking, while the women are all drop dead gorgeous size 2s who spend a lot of time in bikinis. So watch with caution.
But just like the movie Knocked Up, I'm glad it's out there. Knocked Up was way more crude than Couples Retreat, but the message was a great one: don't get an abortion. Try to make relationships work, and family matters.
When Christians start taking these movies and complaining about the swearing or the crudity, I think we do ourselves a bit of a disservice. We need to remember that these movies were not made for us. We already know that abortion is wrong; we already know that you should stick it out in a marriage. But the majority of our culture does not necessarily believe these things.
The fact that movies like these that speak directly to that culture are actually made is an amazing thing. They demonstrate the emptiness of the pursuit of self-fulfillment and happiness above commitment and family, and isn't that what we want? Ultimately fulfillment and happiness can't be found when one lives a self-centred life. It's only found when we learn to share and commit, and these movies say that.
Yes, there's much that's objectionable. But I am so grateful they're being made, and rather heartened to see people like Vince Vaughn, who was once a playboy, making a movie extolling the virtues of settling down--and staying settled down. If people watching it get a better view of marriage, then more power to them!
In the meantime, I'm doing my own version of Couples Retreat in real life, at the end of April. Keith and I are speaking at a Family Life marriage conference in Ottawa, and if you're in the area, I encourage you to join us!
But if travelling to Ottawa is geographically impossible for you, then I have another great opportunity! On March 10-12, A Woman Inspired "One" Online marriage conference is running! It's mostly meant for women, but if you want some help, encouragement, and inspiration to grow your marriage, what a great opportunity! You don't even have to leave your home. And when you sign up, you get access to all the seminars, even those you can't attend live. You can download the .mp3s afterwards, and listen in.
Best of all, I'm giving away a free ticket to someone who comments in this thread! So if you'd like to attend an online marriage conference, just leave a comment! And I'll give the prize away on Friday!
For those of us who are married, our marriage is definitely our most important earthly possession. It smooths life's rough patches, it helps us give stability to raise great kids, and it provides us with health, companionship, and happiness. Don't ignore your marriage. If you're frustrated, or having trouble, go to this conference. It could just be the boost you need to rescue your love life!
So leave a comment to win. And I'm rooting for you!
About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.