I should start with a confession: when I was little, I used to put on my curly red Annie wig and scrub my mom’s kitchen floor while singing “It’s the Hard Knock Life”. Annie was once my *favorite* movie, so tracking down this clip on YouTube made me just a little bit giddy. I will also admit that going to the movies nowadays is every bit as much of an event for me as it would have been for little orphan Annie during the depression (okay, almost).
It doesn’t happen often that we find someone who wants to watch all three of our little ones for the evening and we can justify spending the ridiculous fortune it costs to go to the movies now, but last night was one such night. Thanks to a very well-planned Christmas present from Mary and Duncan, we had babysitters for an evening and managed to do the whole cinematic shebang (including popcorn, soda, and skittles) for $0.75 in total. It was quite possibly one of our best date nights ever. We saw The Other Boleyn Girl, and both really enjoyed it. It sparked a long-dormant (wait, dormant implies that it was there once, which is not quite right…) interest in history for me, and was also fascinating to Trevor, who already knew the history of Henry VIII’s wives so well that halfway through the movie he leaned over and whispered to me, “divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, lived” (apparently this is something that every good English boy knows???). We will forgive him if part of the initial draw to this movie was its connection to our favorite (or at least most-viewed) movie of all time, Where the Heart Is.
As I was saying, getting to the movies is a very big deal for me. In spite of there being times in my life when I went much more often than my current rate of, oh, once every six months, I think it has always been a big deal to me. I enjoy the whole experience: the previews, the popcorn (mmm… especially the popcorn, the more butter the better), the grandness of it all.
What’s more, for better or for worse, I really do enjoy the movies themselves. I find myself increasingly particular about what I want to have passing before my eyes (and ears) as I get older, and proportionately disturbed by what passes as appropriate viewing for a 13-year-old. Juno springs to mind here. I took my sister to see it a couple months ago, and although I appreciate that some aspects of the message were good… why, oh, why with the language? (It didn’t bother Paige so much. I rest my case.)
In spite of all that, I love how movies give me insight into the human condition and experience, good and bad. They give me glimpses of the how the unredeemed mind sees the world, and of how deceptive my own heart can be. They give me a sense of kinship with all mankind, one place in the world or period in history at a time, one quirky personality type or unseen subculture at a time. They cause me to marvel at the talents and beauty God has built into human beings, and sometimes at what poor stewards we can be of such gifts. And as I shake off that post-movie fog like waking up from a very real dream, I am always thankful that the truth is still what the Truth is, and not what Hollywood paints it to be.
Don’t forget to check out what he says here.