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HOLLYWOOD’S HIDDEN IMMORALITY (AND IT’S ENTERTAINING, TOO)! By Scott DeNicola Some movies are obviously offensive, but the ones we should be aware of are a lot more subtle. Are we really paying attention? Hasn’t Hollywood learned by now-that you can’t make films that blatantly assault Christians and families, then expect folks to run out to the theater for tickets? Sure, the critics are prone to hail Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ as a masterpiece, a triumph. But in the end, most of the intrigue surrounding Temptation was fueled by the objections to its blasphemous portrayal of Jesus. More typically, films that obtusely attack morals, the family and God himself are the very films few people go to see. Some of Hollywood’s more recent rants, such as The Object of My Affection (validating the gay lifestyle), Pleasantville (preaching that morality = repression) and Dogma (depicting God as a woman), were all relative duds at the box office. These in-your-face diatribes against Christians’ virtues are the exception. While most films include some behavior that Christians find objectionable (or should find objectionable), at least the majority aren’t so blatant. More often, movie studios have the sense to make their products agreeable enough for Christians to sit through, or even enjoy. And that’s a good thing, right? Well, maybe not. Maybe Hollywood has learned after all. Perhaps Tinseltown’s war against morality is a bit subtler than we suspect. Rather than openly bashing pro-family audiences, wouldn’t a shrewder tactic be to lure them in, communicating liberal ideology by tucking it within a larger story? Some films have perfected this subversive technique so well that audiences are lulled not only to tolerate misdeeds and depravity but, in some instances, to root for them. HOLLYWOOD ON: MARRIAGE By Hollywood standards, true love conquers all-and may even destroy a sacred union or two along the way. Even films that don't specifically mock the marriage covenant still manage to brush aside its significance under the guise of "romance."
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The Horse Whisperer, The Prince of Tides, The English Patient and The Bridges of Madison County all deal with characters who find the "love of their lives." Unfortunately, their perfect counterparts happen to be married to someone else. In Bridges , Francesca (played by Meryl Streep) is a bored, repressed housewife until she meets Robert (Clint Eastwood), a National Geographic photographer. Robert provides Francesca with a much needed self-esteem boost-and an extramarital affair to boot. "Don't kid yourself," he tells her. "You are anything but a simple woman." The movie's tearjerker scene isn't Francesca's realization of how she's harmed her marriage. (That realization never comes.) Instead, it's Francesca's tragic inability to leave her husband and run off with Robert. In
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