Saturday, October 9, 2010
Now, I know there are those that think this movie is immoral and inappropriate, and to those people I simply ask, "Did you understand the movie?" A student of mine watched this movie and explained that she was very bothered by the fact that Olive never "acknowledge" the wrong in her decision. She was also extremely upset at the "extremely" negative connotation of Christians in the movie. She also felt that there would be teenagers who would feel compelled by Olive's "immorality" and follow her bad example. I was intrigued by her assessment of the movie, and after seeing the movie, I am actually very disappointed in her assessment.
I loved the movie. I know, I already said that, but it is worth saying again. Did Olive make a bad choice. Yes. Did this bad choice lead to other bad choices? Also, yes. But, her choices were not because of an immorality on her part; her choices were actually based on her humanity. Was Olive "immoral"? I do not think so. She was compassionate to a fault. The girl simply could not handle people crying to her, and if there was a way to help people stop crying, she was up for it. But, it was not just tears that she wanted to help. She was willing to take upon herself the bad in order to keep the bad off of others. She was willing to make her life more difficult in order to make other's lives easier. This is impressive. Who among us will willingly tarnish our own reputation in order to save others? She was willing to do that. Not only was she willing, she embraced it. Seriously, she owned it. And in doing so, she learned a lot about herself, her family, and society as a whole. This movie, if one really pays attention, makes you think. I love that this movie challenged teenagers (and adults) to look at how they judge others. To look at how they judge themselves.
Now, I am not saying that Olive is not without fault. I am simply saying that she was willing to do what others simply were not. She challenged the (unjust and unfair) judgements of those around her (adults included). She did not judge others even when they judged her unfairly and quite harshly.
I also have to say that I loved the wit and intelligence of this movie. It had me laughing hysterically and thinking provocatively. I also loved the references to my favorite 80's movies: "Say Anything," "The Breakfast Club," "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," "Can't Buy Me Love," and, of course, "16 Candles." Truly brilliant!
I have been debating teaching "The Scarlett Letter"...maybe I will.