As I glanced through the show times of movies this past weekend, I took note that a few of the biggest blockbusters (currently in theaters) had one thing in common: a very twisted portrayal of relationships.
Do you know what's playing at a theater near you?
A Deteriorating View of Relationships
Parents and youth workers know this best: one of the biggest influences in life – if not the
biggest – is the quality of relationships we keep. But a quick look through the lenses of culture reveals a greatly cheapened understanding of relationships compared to those of yesteryear.
How people treat others is changing. In fact, how people are encouraged
to treat others is changing. In many of today's relationships, things like commitment, loyalty, and respect are on the endangered species list.
But that's not the way it's always been. Where is this new trend coming from? Who's modeling this new (and lesser) understanding of relationships? Both of those questions can be answered in one word: media.
If you don't believe me, just take a look at three films playing on movie screens in your towns right now
. See if their presentation of relationships is familiar to your understanding, or whether the lessons they're promoting are (very) different from those you've known in the past.
Movie #1: Hall Pass
The movie's official website
offers a "unique" take on problem-solving within marriages. Here's how the production company describes their film:
Best buds Rick and Fred (Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis) have both been married for many years. When they begin to show signs of restlessness at home, their wives (Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate) take a bold approach to revitalize their marriages: they grant the guys a "hall pass," one week of freedom to do whatever they want. No questions asked.
Elsewhere on the site, the film defines Hall Pass
as, "A week off from marriage to do whatever you want without consequences." The film's "green band" trailer
(for all audiences) reveals the comedic trouble the guys quickly find themselves in as they go in search of babes. A "red band" trailer (for restricted audiences requiring age authentication) exists as well, showing why the movie fully earns its rating of R for "crude and sexual humor throughout, language, some graphic nudity and drug use."
was released on February 25, 2011 and raked in $13.5 million
during its opening weekend. And what did teenagers who saw the movie learn about relationships?
1. When men (or women, for that matter) can't control themselves, they should just be given whatever they crave.
2. The promises made between a man and a woman during their wedding ceremony can be put on pause.
3. Our actions do not have to have consequences attached to them.
These "gems" are just a few of the lessons highlighted in Hall Pass
. Of course, viewers will also see...