Friday, August 21, 2009
Just watched it. I really thought it was wonderful. It makes me miss the days when I lived in Rochester, MN and the LAbri house would have movie night. A group of about 30 would watch a carefully selected movie (not selected on being "G" or with "good Christian themes") but with deeply provocative thoughts. Then we would sit around and discuss it until the wee hours of the morning.
In view of how I've expressed things before, oddly, John Givings (the insane man) was the only sane person in the entire movie. He could see through the clutter into the eyes of reality. He was on the "other side" of the looking glass . . . while all the zombies in middle-class-responsible land were just that . . . living on the clean side.
The movie reminds me of a talk I heard once on Focus on the Family. I don't think it was James Dobson . . . but a guest. He made the comment that Christianity had a golden age in America, was was the 50s. Then he explained that through selfishness, the hippies of the 60s brought down the good American Christian society into the chaos of the post-Christian world that we experience now.
I of course disagree. I think there is truth in this movie (and the author of the book lived through 50s as an adult). I suspect the Leave-it-to-Beaver or The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet generation lived on the edge of a facade and in their closets were some real pain, discontentment, disillusions about life. The hippies of the 60s were only saying, "Stop Pretending!" After all, Frank Wheeler (the main male character) was really happy at the end, when his wife, an actress by training, plastered this fake smile on her face and made his breakfast . . . while on the inside she was dying emotionally . . . and would die literally before the day was over.
This movie raises some real questions. Do we ever give up dreams for the "responsible thing to do? " Is living up to middle class expectations . . . a Christian cult?
I know I've made some radical choices in life (and many more that I wanted to make and couldn't). Each time I came up with a wild dream like leaving a wonderful job at Mayo Clinic( but living in a place that I and my kids hated), and moving to an island in Puget Sound . . . and trying to create a job from scratch, well . . . my Christian friends (and professional friends) all advised against it. They said it would not be "responsible."
I wish I had read the Richard Yates novel first. I'm sure it was even better than the book.
Posted by MJ at 10:09 PM