Sunday, July 01, 2007

Flicka: OK movie, baaad sermon

When our two older children were little, we devised a way of rating movies. We sized them up as a movie, and as a sermon. That is, we evaluated the entertainment-value on the one hand, and the message, if any, on the other.

So by this standard, for instance, Disney's The Little Mermaid was a good movie (fun, funny), but a bad sermon (disrespect your father, do whatever you want no matter who it hurts and everything will work out fine). By contast, Beauty and the Beast was a good movie (fun, funny, good songs, moving), and a good sermon (love your father, love to read, love is more than attraction to appearance).

For our "Burger Movie" last night, we just watched the 2006 movie Flicka, which Michael Medved so loved and hailed as a "a first-class family film" and "fine and family friendly."

Verdict: well, you read the title.

Flicka is indeed very pretty and well-filmed, and has a likable cast; and the horse herself is really gorgeous. There are some funny lines and well-directed moments of interaction.

But... it is a "fine and family friendly" "first-class family film" only if your definition of such includes depicting a caring, loving, devoted, hardworking father as an object of contempt, disrespect, hatred, and familial conspiracy.

That's right. Right from the start, we're introduced to our "heroine," an undisciplined, selfish, self-indulgent, self-absorbed, ungrateful brat, at a fine school only because of great and many sacrifices on their part (her father leading that effort), completing blowing off a test for which she's been provided the topic in advance. Then she goes home, and immediately begins indulging her every whim, shirking her chores, and treating her father with affectionate contempt.

In fact, everyone treats this poor man with affectionate contempt. After one rebellious outburst from this daughter, the mother comes to talk to her. To reprove her, perhaps? To correct her? No; to comfort her by telling her that she (the wife) hasn't "talked to" her father yet. Then, she is hinting, she'll bring him around to the daughter's will.

Do they always treat him with this affectionate contempt? No. The affectionate veneer drops when the daughter's will is crossed, and she physically beats on her father and tells him that she hates him. Her brother joins in, physically shoves this man and verbally spits in his face. Only the wife remains mostly affectionate, though she tells him at one point that he knows he did the wrong thing "because (he) didn't talk with (her)" (i.e. he knows he always goes wrong if he doesn't okay his decisions with her first).

Does this all get worked out?

Yes... in that the daughter gets her way, the father essentially caves, and they all allow as how he's more or less okay now.

This is not my definition of "family-friendly" — at least not in terms of how God defines "family."

So, it is an okay movie, but an absolutely wretched sermon.


P.D. Nelson said...

Perhaps you should have tried the 1943 version instead.

Kay said...

Common currency now, sadly. There's a childrens program here in which the father is consistently portrayed as foolish and ridiculous. In fact, you see it everywhere - telly adverts, static advertising, magazine articles, the repeated drum-beat - 'men (and in particular, fathers) are really rather daft and an object of derision'

I'm fairly sure I don't know all there is to know about men, but one thing I do know - mocking a man will not bring out the best in him.

Connie said...

Sadly, that does seem to be standard faire in the media today and carries over to not just father-figures but almost every "authority" figure. We all look forward to our weekly "Family Movie Night", but often are challenged to find a suitable movie while strolling the aisles of local movie rental stores!

LeeC said...

Spoken like a husband and a father....*rollseyes*

Yup, sadly thats a pretty standard view of how society feels the family is, and should be.

Speaking of which, I noticed yesterday they had turned my local 7-11 into a Kwik-E-Mart....

The idea grew out of conversations between Fox and 7-Eleven's advertising agency.

"We wanted to make sure the movie stands out as a true cultural event this summer," said Lisa Licht, a marketing vice president at Fox. "It has to stand out from other summer movies and TV shows."


Rebekah said...

This modern tendency does more than just ridicule fathers and men in general - as if that isn't bad enough. It is also sending a message to our little boys that men are wimps, objects of contempt or scorn, etc. I want my sons to learn to be godly men of character who will stand for their convictions and demonstrate Christ-like love to those whom God places under their authority, not be like the ineffectual, goofy men constantly being shown up and treated with contempt by oh-so-superior women that the media offers up for everyone to laugh at and scorn.

David said...

The Man from Snowy River again?

Rev. said...

You thought it was an "ok" movie?!? My take is that it was a baaaaaad movie *and* a baaaaaaad sermon.

coolrewl said...

I think y'all might be lookin at this movie expectin it to be a bad story. If you watch this movie all the way through you can see what a great story it is. I don't know if y'all just never worked on a farm or ranch or just never dealt with your own kids.
It isn't about ridiculin fathers or authority figures. Its about rememberin what livin in the country is all about. Katie(Alison Lohman) is sent off to boardin school to get a higher education when all she wants is to work the ranch. And Rob (Tim McGraw) is just tryin to protect her from the harsh life and protect his family's future in quarter horses. Y'all should listen to the song My little girl by McGraw. It'll help you realize that it is a story about love. And what greater sermon is there. God teaches love as well. Y'all are the reason so many people turn away from God and hate the church. You see wicked in everything instead of the best and that's just sad to tell y'all the truth.
Try seein life from a good point of view. You might enjoy life a little more.

DJP said...

That's really pretty funny on a lot of levels. I'll try to remember to tell my family that we were all independently wrong. And all the previous commenters now know that they were not only wrong about the picture, but that had bad attitudes, too! Bad!!

Say, what one single post can I use to judge your entire blog, and your whole approach to life?