For the love of the saints-do I need to write this? Hollywood movies are not a good tool of instruction for your kids. Today Ellen Goodman of the Washington Post Writers Group notices this, and bemoans a spate of movies she says are unrealistic, and uncomplicated. What? Hollywood, unrealistic? Shocking.
We are in the midst of an entire wave of movies about unexpectedly pregnant women-from Knocked Up to Waitress to Bella-all deciding to have their babies and all wrapped up in nice neat bows,” she writes.
Now, ignore the fact that these movies are truly the exception to the norm-the usual Hollywood storyline is more American Beauty than Bella-and ignore the fact that she clearly has not seen Waitress-the lead actress there allows her baby to lead her away from “Husband Wrong” to singleness, not Mr. Right, as she claims-ignore all that, and I’d still say I can’t believe Goodman is actually complaining that parents are being called to, well, parent.
Once again, adults are being called to teach against the cultural tide,” she writes, angrily bemoaning the fact that “when Spears told the world she was pregnant, it was described as a ‘teachable moment…’
If I ever have daughters, I’m just going to sit them down in front of Enchanted and The Sound of Music on repeat. That way, when a wicked witch kicks them out of Fairy Tale Land, they’ll have the real life survival skills to cope with New York City in their poofy prom dresses at night. Alternatively, when Mother Superior kicks them out of the Abbey, they’ll fall right into the arms of a dashing sea captain, who will leave his fiancée (she goes back to Vienna, where she belongs) and change from a taciturn, angry man into a warm and loving husband.
That’s my plan, anyway.
And on a different, more serious note, these movies reflect the reality that most of us are uncomfortable with abortion–and plans to socially engineer that discomfort away make us more uncomfortable, not less. Hence Hollywood-movieland may from time to time address the topic in a way that is profoundly unrealistic.
But turn that frown upside down, Ellen! The vast majority of girls and women who find themselves in a crisis pregnancy really are living sad and complicated lives. And they go to the abortion clinic so that we as a society don’t need to grapple with their problems and can go on living our enchanted lives.