First, this boring comedy struck me as almost a fantasy because any normal non-religious woman in the heroine’s situation would get an abortion. Now, I understand that if the heroine gets an abortion, there’s no story (not that there was much of a story anyway), but the movie did not feel the need to justify her decision to have the baby in any way. The woman’s mother wanted her to “get it taken care of” but the woman simply refused without giving any reason for her decision. The movie couldn’t even say the word abortion; the closest a character came is “shmashmortion.”
Second, two of the previews had religious themes: License to Wed and Evan Almighty, both of which look so unbearably bad that you couldn’t pay me to watch them.
Am I onto something here or is this just an atheist’s hypersensitivity to anything that smacks of mysticism?
If I’m right, what does it mean? Here are the choices:
A. Hollywood is changing and more religious people are making movies.My answer is A. As America goes, so goes Hollywood. And the ominous fact is that America is becoming more religious. Hollywood is not so much a leader of culture as a follower. Any widespread philosophic changes will inevitably change an industry full of timid social metaphysicians who would rather copy a proven success than innovate. We're not talking about visionaries or titans of independence here.
B. Hollywood is letting a few religious movies get made to keep the conservatives off their back.
C. Hollywood is going where the money is, making more religious movies because that’s what the ticket-buying public of America and the world want to see.
D. A little bit of all of the above and some other factors as well. (I include this choice for all you empiricist-minded complexity worshippers who get sweaty palms at the thought of identifying a principle.)
It’s not the first time Hollywood has embraced religion. Some ‘40s movies are drenched in mysticism, altruism and sentimentality and they are unbelievably boring, as if pop culture was just trying to lull people to sleep in that tacky decade. Unless you need a soporific, avoid all '40s movies that involve priests, nuns, doctors or nurses, as these types are invariably portrayed as selfless idealists who sacrifice their happiness for humanity.
Instead of back to the future, Hollywood is going forward to the past. Forward to the past in bad way: Hollywood is rediscovering the worst traditional values while keeping the worst new age values, all the while still ignoring the lost art of romanticism.
(Other than religion the only other trend I see is the same one we've been living with since the rise of the blockbuster -- that is, idiocy designed for the lowest common denominator. I mean, Underdog? Remember when Hollywood used to make intelligent movies? Neither do I.)