"What do you want to do tonight?"
And thus began an hour and forty-two minutes of my life I won't get back. I did not expect the comedy to be as raunchy as it was. I was under the impression that star Ben Stiller had an active role in creating this, similar to comedies Tropic Thunder and Zoolander. He didn't though, which explains why too many of the jokes were unnecessary and juvenile (I'm looking at you, Seth Rogen).
There were indeed some positive qualities, though, which is my inspiration for writing this
The film focuses around Evan, an overachiever who is extremely friendly and yet extremely lonely. He is married to a lovely wife who is unfortunately neglected by his many clubs. He is the president of the Running Club, an ESL volunteer, a councilman, and most recently started a neighbourhood watch program in attempt to solve the death of one of his employees.
Vince Vaughn also stars, and like some of Vaughn's movies (Couples Retreat), there is a lesson that could be learned. The lesson is that you can do, do, do so much and yet have no effect on what really matters. Evan wants to make friends, so he creates these groups but, unable to control them the way he wants, sees them turn into chaos (see my previous post about this phenomenon). What he was missing is that he has his wife, his very best friend, to do all this with. It's interesting that in the beginning of the film you wouldn't think he's even married; running without his wife, speaking Spanish without his wife, holding town hall meetings without his wife, etc. When he makes the discovery that his wife wants to be involved in his life, the proverbial light bulb in his head turns on and it makes for a more fun third act.
It really is a beautiful thing to see two people who love each other doing stuff together. Few films have done it better than good ol' PIXAR. Really, whose heart doesn't smile watching this vid?
The good themes or ideas that this film can draw out certainly does not outweigh the filth that was smeared all over the reel, but it did provide me with some serious reflective thinking. About myself. About God. About the relationship between the two.
I love movies, so it's not a secret that the question "What do you want to do tonight?" will be answered with "Movie?" And yet a quarter of the way in my mind was wishing I was reading my bible instead. I don't say this in a prideful way, but in a more surprised realization. That if I had known what movie I was going to go into, I would much rather have done a bible study with a friend who shared a common interest in bible study.
And it wasn't just for this particular movie. I know that I would much rather talk and read scripture than watch and talk movies - and I do love movies! In a way it's what makes me most content.
Movies bring contentment, sure, but you can talk about subplots and themes for so long until you have nothing to talk about. And yet I find everything in my life (including the movies I watch) bring me back to thinking about God. I love that!