Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Kids Are All Right

This is the 4th time Annette Bening has been nominated for an acting Oscar, and it looks like she'll probably lose again, this time to Natalie Portman (Black Swan)--though there are a few prognosticators who feel like an upset is possible. Bening plays Nic, a lesbian wife and mom and doctor. Her partner, Jules (Julianne Moore), is more bohemian and is perennially jobless, so Nic ends up being the breadwinner and decision-maker of their California household. They have each given birth to a child by way of the same anonymous sperm donor, so the kids are half-siblings who share the same unknown father. Joni is 18, played by Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Alice in Wonderland) and her younger brother, Laser, is 15, played by Josh Hutcherson.

Laser decides he wants to know who his father is, but he needs the help of his older sister to find out because you have to be 18 years old or the fertility clinic won't talk to you. They end up meeting him, Paul (Mark Ruffalo, nominated for Supporting Actor), after all, and things click. They click especially well with Joni, who is about to move away to college, but even Laser comes around. This all causes tenstion in the family, because Nic feels threatened by the new parental influence on her kids--and because Jules starts spending so much time over at Paul's house.

My Mom is right, on the one hand: This sort of story, portraying a lesbian couple as nothing short of completely normal American parents, serves to further mainstream homosexual behavior (decidedly a bad thing). On the other hand, though, it is that very dynamic that makes this particular story work. If the parents weren't lesbians, the film would have been mediocre and borning--but as it is, it was surprisingly watchable and enjoyable, if also off-beat and sometimes gross. We really didn't know how the story was going to end, and that suspense always makes for a decent movie. And by "decent" I mean well-acted and well-written. If you're like us, you have to find a way to see beyond the pornography, profanity, drug use, and so on. The characters portrayed here are, as in most Hollywood productions, completely godless.

This is not the Best Picture of 2010. And we certainly don't think it is one of the top ten, either. But we liked it better than we thought we would.

Brooke: C-
Grant: C+


Jarrod Lane said...

Grant and Brooke,
I do not know what to say to this. I have thought about saying nothing, but I cannot, I must say something. I cannot understand why you went to see this (or others) movie! It is a SICK film that degrades everything that we as Christians should stand for. It is about lesbians that decide to have kids, unnaturally, and like to watch gay men have unnatural sex (the camera shows most of this). The idea that y'all would go watch this and support this, and even say that you "liked it..." saddens me deeply.

The only possible reason that I can think of for ANYBODY to go see this is in the case of Pluggedin where you go see movies to make others aware of the content, in detail. But, even then I do not think that they should have gone to see it. There was already plenty of information out there on this without a Christian having to put this in front of there face. All they had to say was that they are not going to see it, and that they do not recommend it to anybody. Possibly quoting secular sources in need be.

This film is VERY graphic (again, all I did was a google search) and should have been given an X or NC-17. It is disgusting to me and goes against EVERYTHING that the Bible teaches.

Can you answer one question? WHY? Why did you go see this? What was the purpose? What was the redeeming value to it? Why did you want to go see the "pornography, profanity, drug use, and so on"?????

With HIS Love,

Grant said...

Hey Jarrod! It's good to hear from you. I didn't even know you commented on the blog. I guess I should check that more often...most of the time we don't get any comments.

But I'm really glad you sent us this message because you are absolutely correct about its disgusting and completely godless content.

Let me mention a few things, and hopefully you'll understand our thinking a little bit better:

-- First, we did not go see this film at the theater; we ordered it from Netflix. I wasn't even comfortable watching some of the scenes with Brooke, let alone watching them in public. You're right: it should have been rated NC-17.

-- Second, because of what we had heard in the media about its subject matter, we had no intention at all of watching it until it received a Best Picture nomination. At that point, we decided that, since we had seen the other nine nominees, we should watch it at home and judge it for ourselves.

-- Third, Brooke and I have a tradition of seeing all of the Best Picture nominees each year. We've done this every year that we have known one another. Most of the films are generally good and don't have content that makes us want to hide our eyes. But sometimes, there are one or two films in the group that we would not see under any other circumstances, and never want to see again. Last year, a film called "Precious" was like this.

-- Fourth, without question, it was one of the most ungodly films we've ever seen. We didn't say in our review that we "liked it". What we said was that we "liked it better than we thought we would", which is to say that our expectations were very low beforehand and that they were barely surpassed. Perhaps the only comforting part of the story was that all of the characters seemed to realize in the end the importance of a (male) father in a family.

The world is a dark place, and movies like this only confirm it. And I am truly grieved that anything Brooke or I would do might cause you alarm. This is the opposite of our intentions! God is at work in our lives, using us to do His work in small ways every day. Don't think for a second that we get any pleasure or entertainment value out of watching His laws be ignored or His design for a godly family be destroyed. Nothing could be further from the truth.

You are a great friend and a true man of God, Jarrod. Thanks for keeping us honest! We all need this kind of accountability. You know, we all struggle daily with decisions that seem small at first: what to watch, what to read, where to go, what to do, who to talk to. That's why we need Christian friends and conversations like this one.

But again, I hope you'll give us the benefit of the doubt here. Our relationship with God is as strong as it's ever been. Even so, we value your prayers. And we certainly do NOT "support" (to use your word) movies like this one!