I'm not a prude - at least I don't think I am - but lately I've been wondering about the proliferation of movies that involved people cheating on their spouses and how it's presented on screen.
A few years ago Michael Douglas starred in a film called Solitary Man about
a man who is given only a few months to live, and decides to go out and leave
his old life behind, divorce his wife and essentially have his mid-life crisis
adventure while there’s still time left. The writer/directors claimed they were trying
to show how wrong it was, but yet I didn't get that vibe from the film. Instead I saw it as a man trying to find
himself even if it meant leaving his wife and sleeping with a much younger
woman. And yet, I felt the
writer/directors were trying to hide the fact that the guy was actually living
the life they wanted to live. Instead they had to have a moral, a lesson as to
why it's so wrong just so someone in Hollywood would distribute it.
Do all films need a message, a moral, a lesson? It looks that way. And, sadly, some films seem to have the
standard mantra be more of a veil over the real story. The moral or lesson that they try to pitch to
audiences is that it’s wrong to cheat on a loved one, but yet I don't see that as the
real story. To me the true theme seems to be in some cases that it’s
okay to do certain things that society and morality and government think is
Nobody Walks gave me the same feeling. There's this desire to cheat,
to throw away the rules and have relations with anyone. It's okay.
It's okay to give in to your desires. It's what happens. It's acceptable. Granted not everyone in the film does so. So then the question I'm pondering is: who is wrong? The person who did give in or the one who didn't?
Here’s the plot: A twenty-three
year-old artist from New York City comes to stay with her friend's family in
Los Angeles while working on an art film for a gallery opening. The reason she is there is because Peter (John Krasinsky), a married, 40-something is a sound engineer who is working with
her on the final cut of the film. Her presence ignites passions within
practically the entire family and anyone else who encounters her or enters that
There's no real bad guys in this film. You find your allegiances
vacillating between all the characters. You cheer for them one minute and
criticize them the next.
But in the end there's no lesson. No moral. No right or
wrong. In some ways it's refreshing. Why disguise your own
explorations with a lecture?
And while it's never boring, it does make me wonder what the theme is?
Is it the carefree energy emitted by the young Martine that these people crave
and find themselves connecting to? Is she an innocent party or a somewhat
knowing catalyst? Or, in the end, is she just another chink in the
Is marriage all that it is cracked up to be? If we watch enough films
will we finally decide that it's okay to sleep around, that it's socially
When the gay population first demanded same sex marriages, I was
surprised. I’m not against it at all. I totally understand the point of it, but
with the institution of marriage crumbling for straight people, and Hollywood
constantly showing us infidelity, how long will it be before people stop
getting married altogether? Is this
battle a moot point? Perhaps we can all “live
in sin”. It might be cheaper that way.
Some people will deny the influence the film industry (or Hollywood in
particular) has on society. I think they
have a strong influence in TV shows as well as film. I think its power is highly
underestimated. If these themes in films
continue to play out, will monogamy really matter anymore?
Everyone’s forgiven or forgotten Bill Clinton’s transgressions. So it is okay?
I would really like to know, because perhaps the bad guys in these films are
the people who resist the temptation or the people who actually are hurt as a result of these affairs, the betrayed spouse
or partner who winds up being angry, cold or rude, or - in some cases -
Is the film industry trying to change society? Or do they want us to believe that art is
What better platform to push a viewpoint?
So many writers, directors and producers all after the same goal, all
sharing the same theme.
To prove my point even further, take a look at all the pot smoking that
occurs in most films. It shows up in
Nobody Walks as well. Is it a veiled
statement about the forty-somethings in this film trying to cling to their
carefree pasts? Or is it a statement
from the filmmakers that pot should be legalized, because - as they depict it -
it’s no different than having a couple of beers. Everyone seems to think just as clearly as
when they were sober. No munchies or
staring at the paint on the walls. Everyone
seems to be in control.
Is that realistic?
The film industry would like us to believe that films like these are art
imitating life. In some cases I would
agree, but when certain themes are used so often, I start to wonder. Is it a lack of imagination, just a bunch of
filmmakers following a trend that seems to work again and again (e.g. sort of
like remaking old TV shows into films because they have no other ideas)? Or is it a want or desire to send a statement
to society that we shouldn’t be so strict about monogamy and drugs.
Again, I'm not a prude. I'm not going to preach that this is all bad. But the casual presentation of these subjects makes me wonder what the message really is
in these films.