I'm a sucker for most romantic comedies, even if they are typically formulaic: The chance meeting of soul mates. Chemistry ignites passion. True love overcomes all hurdles. And, predictably, they live happily ever after.
Despite several decades of feminist rants against Cinderella-style dreams, variations of that same formula still play out in dozens of modern chick flicks—including the brand-new A Cinderella Story, with Hilary Duff as a modern adolescent searching for—and, of course, finding—her Prince Charming … all just in time to help pre-teens break free from the throes of summer boredom.
It's easy for Christians to rail against violence, foul language and gratuitous sex in film, but a good romantic comedy seems to fly below the radar of moral outrage. Instead, we seem to give tacit approval to most of this genre's films.
Now, I'm not arguing that violence and foul language are good for one's Christian walk. But if I encounter them in a movie, I generally don't walk out of the theater with an urge to blow up the concession stand (unless the wait for popcorn was unreasonably long). Nor do I find a string of expletives subtly working their way into my conversations as a result of exposure to bad language.
I do, however, find that so many romantic comedies seem to have an insidiously strong influence on me and on my friends—both male and female—with all kinds of messages that are out-of-sync with God's teachings about love, relationships and marriage.
For one thing, love in the movies is pure emotion. You see a stranger across a crowded room and somehow you know. Or, in the case of Sleepless in Seattle, you don't even have to be in the same room; opposite sides of the country will do just ...1
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