Category Archives: Movies

The Most Romantic Movie of All Time

Cruising through the news sites, I recently came across a list of the Top 25 Most Romantic Movies.  I was amazed at a number of the choices:  adult male dancer in cheap resort “doing” a teenage girl (like they have a future together!); a woman having sex with her fiancé’s younger brother; people who meet while on a European excursion and immediately become intimate, and on and on.
 
When I was younger, I used to just “watch” movies and get caught up in the mushy emotions.  As an adult (and definitely as “Dr. Laura”), I watch movies on a much deeper level, and I’m not happy with the notion that as long as two people are swept up in fantasy and immediacy, it’s just b e a u t i f u l.
 
Maybe it’s because I spend hours each day on my radio program helping people extricate their hearts, minds, and collateral damage from their decisions to just go with the flow of erotic and romantic feelings.  I’m left trying to help them remedy the hurts done to others as well as themselves and the “accidental” children who do not typically benefit from “conception-on-the-run.”
 
The film The African Queen was, for me, one of the most romantic movies of all time.  Humphrey Bogart gives up being a surly, drunk, self-designated outcast for Katharine Hepburn, who gives up being an up-tight, prissy, self-avowed spinster, for a cause, using his little beat-up boat to sink a German war boat.  Having that joint goal (well, she had to work hard to get him out of his shell to be brave enough to re-join the world), and having to deal with deadly elements on a six-foot power skiff together, they built something really romantic.
 
Those of you who are married and struggling with illness or the economic “elements” should watch that movie together…twice!  I believe it will make you snuggle.  What brings people really close together is not just itinerant sex.  It is a joint goal, the attainment of which requires you both to become MORE.  Sometimes that goal is survival, and at other times, it may be the birth of a child, or a commitment to some effort in the world.  Great sex is the prize…it is not the substance of true love.

Pop Culture’s Negative Influence on Our Kids

This is one of those times when one of your emails says it all.  The following email puts every parent on notice with respect to the proper protection of their children from influences which hurt their souls: 

“Hi Dr. Laura!  I type reports for some youth programs and typed a report a few weeks ago that has been on my mind. This report said that this particular teenager had been using very offensive swear words since the age of 5 when this person saw an R-rated movie. My first question was “What is a 5-year-old doing watching an R-rated movie?” Where is the parent? Another report indicated that one teenager had started inhaling cocaine after seeing it done in a movie. I see kids being influenced by the media all over.

As a teenager many years ago, I was taught that our minds are like a camera – i.e., taking a picture that you can’t get out–so be careful about what you put in it. Many people are concerned about the effects of violent video games and truly believe that these games will affect kids, but why don’t they use the same standard about movies that have sex (especially explicit sex) and vulgar language in them? That sticks every bit as much as violence. Once something has entered your mind, it is changed.

Today, I read in a local paper about a study that was done regarding teens and media (television and movies) containing sexual content. The teens who watched media with sexual content were more likely to engage in such behaviors than those who did not.

We would never invite a stranger into our home without knowing their purpose. Yet, every day we invite strangers into our homes when we turn on television or put a movie on. We think we know these people–they’re on the front cover of every magazine at the checkout. These people often, don’t have our best interests at heart or the best interests of our kids at heart. They are there to make money, and generally, that is their only purpose. I’m amazed at some of the talk show hosts and authors that have shared their infidelities, whether on TV or in books, like it is a badge of honor. They will certainly take credit for lending their influence in the [recent] presidential campaigns, but they certainly would not take credit for their influence in the lives of today’s teens in the terms of drugs and sex.

We have choices! We as parents need to be more judicious as to what we will allow in our homes and what we will allow our kids to be exposed to within our realm. We need to love our kids and ourselves enough to turn “that program” off and spend our time with our kids or developing ourselves. Our kids are influenced by a lot of other people away from the home, but when they return to the home, we do have the influence to reinforce the difference between good and bad, right and wrong.

 Thank you so much for all that you do to fight the negative effects on the family!”

When you’re so busy, busy, or have long given up on taking the leadership role in raising your children, or you’re way too easily dissuaded by popular culture from having moral standards and values by which you wish to raise your family, your children become prey and the predators are many.  Like vampires, they wait to suck the blood out of your children’s souls and psyches, leaving them to the forces of their immaturity and the allure of their impulses.

Your children need you to take stands…their futures depend on it!

Black and White Reigns

Andrew Klavan, an award-winning author of mystery novels, wrote a brilliant op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal (7/25/08) in which he stated exactly what I believe. 

He pointed out that liberal Hollywood films about the war on terror (In the Valley of Elah, Rendition, and Redacted) have all failed, largely because they propose to make the actions and philosophies of terrorists and coalition forces moral “equivalents,” because they disrespect the military, and “seem unable to distinguish the difference between America and Islamo-fascism.”  These films depict “good” guys as indistinguishable from “bad” guys, ultimately “denigrating the very heroes who defend us.”

Klavan points out that the big blockbuster The Dark Knight, is a conservative movie about the war, like 300 before it, and these films value morality, faith, self-sacrifice and the nobility of fighting for the right.  Liberal, ultimately anti-American, films are realistic and direct, while conservative, pro-values films are usually fantasies using comic-inspired heroes (Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Spiderman 3).

What makes the real world difficult is that “good” guys must defend values in a world that does not universally embrace them, and that puts “good” guys in the awful position of sometimes having to be intolerant, unkind, and brutal in order to ultimately defend the “good” values we love.

As a psychotherapist, I talk to people on the air every day who try to keep out of the way of conflict, confrontation, and judgment, so they will be liked and seen as “good” guys.  I remind them that “good” guys risk, and sometimes cross the line, to stand between evil and the innocent who need protection from the few.

Instead, as Klavan points out, “When heroes arise who take those difficulties on themselves, it is tempting for the rest of us to turn our backs on them, to vilify them in order to protect our own appearance of righteousness.  We prosecute and execute the violent soldier or the cruel interrogator in order to parade ourselves as paragons of the peaceful values they preserve.”

That means that sometimes good men have to kill (“murder” is to kill an innocent) to preserve life; that sometimes they must violate values in order to maintain those values.  That’s just a fact of real life in which good and evil have always co-existed.

 

R Movies In The Classroom

One mother in Huntington Beach, California went through ten lawyers until she found Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute (pacificjustice.org, a non-profit that advocates for the rights of students and parents) to help her.  All the other attorneys suggested she was a “prude” and chastised her about not being up to speed with 2007.

Her advocacy prompted the Huntington Beach Union High School District trustees to consider a proposal that would regulate movies in the classroom.  The proposal would require teachers to obtain parental permission before showing portions of R-rated movies.  The policy essentially discourages the use of R-rated movies in the classroom.  Evidently, the Huntington Beach district did not have a written policy.  How convenient. 

Mr. Dacus is quoted in the Orange County Register of January 15, 2008 (www.ocregister.com/news/movies-kazor-policy-1959439-teachers-school) as saying: “The garbage they showed these children…was a very serious breach of parental trust.”  The mother said: “These teachers are supposed to be us when we’re not there.  They’re supposed to be role models.  I wanted the opportunity to have the permission sent to me in the form of a permission slip.”

Taking up classroom time showing a whole movie seems to me to be a lazy way to approach a teaching job.  Recommending a movie to students and then sending a memo home to the parents making that suggestion and explaining its value, seems a more responsible and professional means to what is supposed to be an “educational” aid.

“Women’s Work” SAVES Women’s Lives

Feminism Kills Women: Betty Friedan’s negative view of so-called “women’s work” created a movement that turned family life upside down and wrenched women from their homes. Turns out, women’s work, is the very thing that saves women’s lives!

Research following 200,000 women from nine European countries for an average of over 6 years and 3,423 cases of breast cancer determined that women who exercise by doing the housework can reduce their risk of breast cancer by 30% among the pre-menopausal women and 20% among the post-menopausal women. Continue reading