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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Close Enough : A movie review.

Here is an interesting review of the movie Closer (2004) by Matthew Lickona, author of Swimming with Scapulars and TAC alumnus. He was disappointed in the movie because he never believed that the characters were ever really in love with each other, which coincidentally, was essential to the plot.
I think he's right, but he misses the real reason the movie was lacking in artistic quality: that is because it is just one more in a long line of movies made by men who think that the exemplification (dare I say glorification?) of modern mores results in a movie about "real" people. It doesn't. It can't. Modern mores are antithetical to real, substantial persons. You cannot have a thoughtful, emotional movie about hollow, selfish, underdeveloped persons. Such people are either embarassing or revolting, and a movie entirely about them must, of necessity, be of the gritty, "harsh truth" variety. The movie cannot be thoughtful, because there is nothing worth thinking about, and the movie cannot be emotional because there is nothing to be empathic about. That is why Closer was antiseptic and unbelievable.
This contradiction is best seen in the movie Mona Lisa Smile (2003) . After Julia Roberts' character has sex with the bad boy charmer, they awake the next day to stilted conversation. He asks if he can stay and have breakfast with her, which she refuses because it is too intimate. Excuse me? At that moment she became the hooker with the "no kissing" rule. And, at that moment, every act of moral indignation by her character just became a farce.