Thursday, June 6, 2013

Date Night Movies for Catholics on Dates: 7 Quick Takes XV

On Wednesday I told you that I thought Silver Linings Playbook had a real stinker of a message.  But, since I didn't want to ruin your weekend, I also promised to suggest seven films that I think would make great date night movies.  I don't recommend any of them (except the last one) for kids.

--- 1 ---

The Artist (2011)
A black and white silent film!  It's clever and charming and fun.  But you really can't try to do anything else while you're watching it.  It's going to require your undivided attention.

Ironically, it suffers from the same issue as Silver Linings Playbook, in that the lead character is a married man, and we do end up rooting for him to end up with the leading lady.  But, maybe his wife died, we really don't know.  And I think they manage to walk the line of decency in that regard.

There is also an attempted suicide.

But overall, it's really lighthearted and adorable and creative and unique.  I really, really liked it.
--- 2 ---

Captain America (2011)
Captain America is far and away my favorite superhero.  None of the brooding of Batman or the sarcasm of Iron Man or the superciliousness of Thor or the rage of the Hulk.  Captain America is a stand up guy.  I think he's the bees knees.

And I like his movie, too.  It's a comic book movie, so it's got its share of violence, but I found it to be a very enjoyable story.  And sweetly romantic, which you don't often get from the action movies.

--- 3 ---

The Avengers (2012)

I also really enjoyed The Avengers.  Mostly because it has Captain America in it, but also because it has a surprisingly strong (positive) message about humanity.  The plot isn't brilliant, but the characters are, and that's why we're watching anyway.

And although the director is a self-proclaimed atheist, he allows Captain America a lovely and hilarious defense of the One True God, as compared to Loki:

“There’s only one God, ma’am, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that.”





--- 4 ---

Skyfall (2012)
Hey guess what?  James Bond is Catholic.  Or he was at some point anyway.  He may want to consider spiritual direction.

This is my favorite of all the James Bond movies.  I love the nods to earlier incarnations and how it manages to feel modern and throwback and timeless all at the same time.  I love that this is a more human, more conflicted James Bond.

It's very, very violent, of course.  And there are non-graphic sex scenes.  But it's a smart, well done, fun movie that is decidedly less cavalier about important issues than have been earlier Bond films.

--- 5 ---

Pride and Prejudice (2005)

It's hard to pick, but Pride and Prejudice is probably my favorite book.  I know some people don't care much for this adaptation, but I hadn't ever seen any of the others when I first saw this movie, and I thought (and still do think) that they really nailed it.

I love the casting.  I love the costuming.  I love the cinematography.  I love how they adapted it well to fit the medium of film.

It's a chick flick for sure.  But it's a classic.  And if you watched 2,3,4, or 6 with him, maybe he'll let you pick this one some night.

--- 6 ---

Cinderella Man (2005)
I do not like boxing movies.  Or boxing for that matter.  But this is a great movie with a beautiful message, inspiring characters, and a deep underlying Catholicism.

It is a lovely portrayal of marriage and fatherhood.  There IS a lot of punching.  There's really no getting around that.  But I think it's absolutely worth it.

--- 7 ---


Wall-E (2008)
I include this one not because I'm worried you'll think it's not appropriate for kids, but just in case you think it's not appropriate for adults.

Well, it is.  I think it's one of the most genuinely romantic movies of all time.  It's also a brilliant indictment of our consumerist culture.  And it's very cute and funny.

I highly recommend kicking the kids out and watching it on date night.  Then the kids can watch it the next day.



So, what did I miss?  Imagine the bishop is coming over for movie night, but he's cool, so you don't want to bust out Ben Hur.  What would you put on?



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22 comments:

  1. One of my all-time favorite movies that I don't think was very poular was Along Came a Spider (but you have to skip the first 5 minutes). I also loved an old movie called The North Avenue Irregulars (I think they might have remade it more recently) because I can remember our whole family sitting down and laughing at that one!

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  2. I'm going to have to disagree with your choice of Skyfall. If you condemn Silver Linings Playbook because it has "But if you like movies with nudity and language and disturbing implied violence and described aberrant sexual behavior and onscreen sexual activity" how can you recommend Skyfall in which he has sexual encounters with at least three different women in the movie? There's a shower scene in Skyfall too. With a prostitute. And graphic violence (executing a prostitute) and described abberant sexual behavior (when the villain expresses he would like to have a homosexual encounter with Bond) and nudity and language.

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    1. It does seem inconsistent doesn't it? But really it's not.

      Because my problem with Silver Linings WASN'T the shower scene, it was the message. I just mention all that other stuff because without IT, then I could handle a movie with a wrong message. If Pat had reconciled with his wife, and Tiffany had learned to actually make a real sacrifice for someone, not what SHE thinks is a sacrifice, I could have enjoyed and recommended the movie.

      James Bond has all that stuff in it because it's James Bond. But I think that this movie finally presents it in the right context. Earlier Bonds have been about glamour and suaveness, but this Bond shows that he has been broken by this life. No one watching Skyfall would go home thinking, Hey, having a license to kill would be swell!

      But you just might leave Silver Linings thinking, Marriage isn't something worth working for.

      Skyfall doesn't glorify prostitution or homosexuality any more than it glorifies any of the other criminal behaviors it features. But Silver Linings flat out tells us that if we think Tiffany's behavior is wrong, then there's something wrong with US.

      The difference between Skyfall and Silver Linings is all in the message.

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    2. I'm pretty sure the fact that Tiffany lost her job, had to get medical help, not to mention the creepy stalker guy that she has to avoid, were all indications that we are not supposed to think Tiffany's behavior is right. I missed the part where "they flat out" told us what to think about her behavior. I saw a flawed character who was damaged by sin and struggling to focus on something besides sex.

      On the other hand, at the end of Skyfall I actually expected Bond to make out with M because he has sex with every other woman in the movie, with apparently NO effects or consequences. You could totally go home from Skyfall thinking that having sex with lots of hot chicks would be swell or that women are objects for sexual pleasure. But I guess that's ok, because it's James Bond.

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    3. I guess for me it all came down to what I was expecting vs what i got. In Silver Linings I wrongly understood that I would be watching a movie with a good message, and I was dissapointed in what it really was.

      In Skyfall, I was just expecting an action movie and I was impressed with the deeper themes.

      I can certainly understand why someone would choose not to watch it. But I enjoyed it and recommend it.

      The part I'm referencing in Silver Linings is when she yells at Pat in front of the movie theater for enjoying her descriptions, but judging her for her actions. And I don't think we can characterize that guy as a stalker, since she's still texting him to come over.

      But maybe we can agree on one of the other movies. How about Cinderella Man? Did you like that one?

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    4. Totally adore Cinderella Man. The Artist and Pride and Prejudice are both on my list. Right now, since my younger kids apparently confuse the Civil War and the French Revolution, we are going to watch the old Scarlet Pimpernel with Leslie Howard. Still dreamy after all these years.

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  3. Out of all the Avengers, Captain America is my least favorite. I feel like the script writers are embarrassed by him, or don't know how to write him or something, but for whatever reason, he's the MOST flat character out of a franchise specializing in flat characters.

    I do, however, have a soft spot in my heart for Iron Man. For all his sarcasm and self-loathing, it was he who was willing to sacrifice himself for humanity. A great example of God using the flawed vessel to do great works.

    And I never watch Bond movies. Too much sex.

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    1. I think this could only really be settled by a joust. I will champion Captain America and you can champion Iron Man or a fictional character of your choosing. I cannot let stand such talk against the honor of the swellest fella on the silver screen. Let me know when would be good for you. I know you already have boots. I need to learn to ride a horse, so I'll need a week or so.

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    2. If I lose (or even if I win), can you take the annoying Pepper Pots with you, as the spoils of war? I'd be totally ok with that.

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    3. Okay, but if she's going to live here she's going to have to wear a shirt. House rules.

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  4. I love your list! Jessica's concern is my problem with James Bond movies in general, but I did really like Skyfall. As for the superheroes, I'm in love with all of them. Except Tony STark would drive me stark raving mad, but I still like watching the movies. :)

    Wall-E is deeply disturbing for an adult b/c you see the logical outcome of the way we live: morbidly obese people and a trashed planet. But I agree, it's tremendously romantic, and very hopeful.

    We did watch Silver Linings, and I wriggled uncomfortably through it, but one thing it did well is make you root for people who aren't psychologically healthy. I think we are very prejudiced against ppl who are different, whether that's disability or mental illness, and we hold ourselves at a distance. This movie got us rooting for them, which I think is all good. But it was very uncomfortable to watch the misbehaviors.

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  5. If you liked Pride and Prejudice (me too!) I think you'll love "North and South" (BBC). I found it on youtube (4 parts). Had never heard of it before, but really enjoyed it.

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    1. I second the BBC North and South recommendation. It is based on Elizabeth Gaskell's novel. The male lead is Richard Armitage who also played the too human looking dwarf king, Thorin Oakenshield.

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    2. I found it on Netflix! It's next in line after Sherlock. Thanks for the recommendation!

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    3. Kendra, I hope you like North & South! I have watched that more than once I will admit.

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  6. I really do think Cinderella Man was one of the best, if not the best, portrayals of a husband and father I'd ever seen in a movie. Good choice! I felt similarly about Silver Linings; I couldn't get past the fact that Pat was still married and that although genuine affection developed, Pat and Tiffany essentially used each other for much of what we saw. And something else I couldn't quite put my finger on...it might've been the result of tons of hype and my love for Jennifer Lawrence, which raised my expectations quite a bit, I think. Off to go read your take on it now!

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  7. Avengers!!! We are waiting for Thor to come out so that us 'big' kids can go watch and feel young again.

    How are you feeling?

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    1. My mom LUVS Thor, I'm sure she's very excited about the sequel.

      I'm feeling regular pregnant, so pretty good. After barfing every day for seven months with Frankie, I really can't complain about the afternoon blahs!

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    2. Good to hear the "blahs" are only in the afternoon :-).

      Look out for an email this week. We're in the midst of planning some cool field trips. Hopefully they'll work with your schedule.

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  8. We could totally be friends, because I thought WALL-E was much smarter than it seemed at first blush, and I love Captain America, too! I have noted his super abilities: super strength, super patriotism, super politeness, and Christianity. He's also old-fashioned. Super strength is optional, and I can handle a standard level of patriotism, but everything else makes up what I'm looking for in a man. :)

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  9. Captain America is AWESOME. He's so....good. So unselfish, so brave and best of all so humble, so real. My husband loves that movie, I love that movie and our not yet 2 yr old boy has a fascination with that movie that for a while he would watch nothing else (we do FF some bits for him). He's seen it roughly 18 times, which means I've seen it 18 times. Its one of the few movies in the world that I'll actually watch a 19th time. I think I cried every time at the end, when Peggy backs up his decision to ground the plane, even at the cost to her. And when the little kid in NY is running around with the trashcan lid shield. It makes me think of all the WWII soldiers who didn't come home, who didn't get to have kids, but died so other people's kids would live. The whole movie, despite being a superhero movie, feels so REAL. And Captain America is just awesome.

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  10. A quick shout-out for Netflix TV - The Office. I watch it on a loop. Hilarious obscure jokes.

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