Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Finding Truth, Goodness and Beauty in Hollywood: #ShowUsYourList

I could never resist a challenge. So when novelist Erin McCole Cupp asked for a list of entertaining, well-crafted alternatives to the 50 Shades of Grey movie that critics are loving to hate right now, I said, "I'm in!" In addition to the good, clean romance Old Fashioned that's playing in theaters right now, here's my list of three awesome Hollywood movies with excellent messages.

1. The Giver (2014): This dystopian science fiction movie draws us into a peaceful world where every minute of the day is controlled. All knowledge of war and murder has been erased from everyone except the Giver and Receiver of memories. People receive daily injections to keep them from feeling desire, so they won't have sex and get pregnant. Pregnancy is relegated to the profession of birth mother. Babies who don't gain enough weight within a few days after birth are cleanly and compassionately dispatched, placed in plastic boxes, and tossed down garbage chutes. The teen hero realizes, "They haven't eliminated murder, they just call it by a different name." Devastating indirect critique of the contraception-abortion industry. According to my teen daughter, the book was even better.

2. The Island (2005): The Island was 2005's version of The Giver. In a dystopian future, rich people create and warehouse their clones on the Island. When a rich person needs an organ transplant, a clone is killed and the organ is harvested. If a rich person wants to get pregnant, a clone is artificially inseminated. After labor and delivery, the "real parents" take the baby away and the surrogate clone is killed. The clones have full consciousness and no idea that this is their purpose in life, until two clones discover the truth and escape the Island. Rollicking adventure with Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson. You'll never look at surrogate pregnancy or human cloning the same way again.

3. A Walk to Remember (2002): Bring a bucket for your tears. My husband and I both love this movie, which is based on a Nicholas Sparks novel. The female lead is caught between her overly repressive father and the ne'er-do-well who wants to be her boyfriend. With gentle grace, she teaches both the meaning of true love before dying of cancer. Sobs galore.

Are you up for the challenge? Show us your list! Keep spreading truth, goodness, and beauty.

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