Sunday, January 31, 2010

Societal Confusion Over Sex

Last night I watched "The Proposal" with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds, in which Bullock's nasty New York editor character blackmails Reynold's executive assistant character into pretending to be engaged to her so she can avoid deportation. In contemplating the movie afterward I realized that there was a major, glaring hole in the movie--other than the other obvious ones called the plot.

Hollywood is the current champion of free love. They would have us believe that sex is just another past-time like walking the dog or eating chocolate ice cream. They laugh at traditional Christian morality that holds sex to a higher standard. It's as natural as breathing, they would have us think, and there is no reason why anyone shouldn't have sex with anyone under any circumstances, at any time. Love--even familiarity or cordiality--has nothing to do with it.

So why is it that these two characters, while visiting his home, sleep separately? She gets the bed while he gets the floor. These two are going to be pretending to be married for awhile. So why don't they at least share the bed, even if they can't stand each other enough to have sex? It's not like the movie can't go to elaborate, near-Rube-Goldber-ian lengths to get the two to bump into one another stark naked. Why should they have any trouble sharing a bed?

Because this is a romantic comedy. These two character who can't stand one another are destined to fall in love by the end of the movie. Therefore they must NOT under ANY circumstances have sex before they at least realize they are in love. No matter how much Hollywood would like us to think sex and love have nothing to do one another, the viewing audience still cannot separate the two--at least not the female viewing audience, the main consumers of rom-coms.

No, the intended target of this movie still thinks it's romantic that these two obviously are falling for one another, and yet are still denying themselves a little physical gratification. It is sexual tension, not consummation that drives romantic comedies.

The movies just don't work any other way. Can you imagine such a movie about two people who are sleeping together purely for the satisfaction who slowly start to realize they are actually in love? Nope. It doesn't work, does it. The viewing public may have tossed out the notion of saving oneself for marriage, but they can't quite toss out the notion of sex without love.

Oh, I'm sure there may be one or two such movies, but they probably didn't do well, or weren't really romantic comedies.

Perhaps there is hope for America yet.

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