What’s in a movie?

What’s in a movie?

Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 8:00 pm
By: By Lisa Smartt

I’m not picky about food. I mean, I will eat almost anything as long as it’s not contaminated or coated with strange insect parts. In some of my travels overseas, I know I’ve eaten things that were barking in the back yard less than an hour before. So when I say I’m not picky, I mean, really, I’m not picky. One of my favorite sayings was taught to me on a mission trip in college:  “Where He leads me, I will follow. What He feeds me, I will swallow.”
I’m not picky about clothes. When a friend in Texas gives me hand-me-down clothes that are SO “last season,” I put them on and pretend they’re SO “this season.” Truthfully, I even still wear some clothes that are SO 1997 and I wear them proudly and just pretend it really is 1997. I know. A vivid imagination is a gift.
I’m not picky about cars or marble countertops or perfect landscaping or even perfect kids. I don’t have to have the latest and greatest handbag or the best-behaved kid in the room. I’m fine with the messiness and imperfections of life.
But there IS something I’m extremely picky about. I’m picky about movies. Y’see, I have a very distinct purpose in going to the movies. Relaxation and inspiration. I want to see well-developed characters who have a problem that is beautifully solved in less than two hours. I want to see the impossible become possible.
I want to see Capt. Von Trapp fall madly in love with Maria even though she was just a plain girl from the abbey hired to care for the children. I want to see Rudy get to play the last few minutes of the big game for no other reason than it will make me cry a little. I want to see all the students come back to school to tell Mr. Holland that his music teaching made a difference in their lives. I want to believe that sometimes the ugly girl from the big crazy Greek family marries the best guy. I want to hear an inspirational character say through tears, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” I’ll even take an action movie now and then if the good guy wins.
But Hollywood has forsaken me and the millions of people like me. Hollywood has decided they like belching teenagers better than middle-aged women of average intelligence. So we get movies about people inadvertently crashing stuff into other stuff. We get movies about raunchy young people doing raunchy things and feeling pretty happy about it. I’m even more disturbed by movies that make the bad guy kind of heroic. As one reviewer said, the good guy/bad guy scenario is so blasé. The article went on to say that reality has much more gray area than the traditional good vs. evil.
But see, that’s the problem. The gray areas of reality are all over the news every day. I don’t want gray area when I go to the movies. I want the good guy to win. I want the kind-hearted selfless girl to finally get noticed. I want the underdog to miraculously become victorious.  
C’mon, Hollywood. This isn’t rocket science. It’s human nature. Make me laugh. Make me cry. Just stop making me cringe.
For more information about Lisa Smartt, visit her website, lisasmartt.com.

Published in The Messenger 9.26.12

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