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March 20, 2008

Miss Pettigrew offers food for thought

Miss_pettigrewA recent viewing of the delightful film Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day got me thinking about a few things. What's a movie without a Christian worldview angle, after all? :-) (Note: The film is rated PG-13, and for good reason.)

The story concerns a middle-aged Englishwoman (Frances McDormand), desperate for a job, who signs on as social secretary to a ditzy -- and promiscuous -- American actress (Amy Adams). Having been roped into sneaking one lover out of the apartment by elevator, while the other is on the way up via the stairs, Miss Pettigrew, the daughter of a vicar, finds herself in a quandary. Because "morals are very important to [her]," she says, she feels the need to leave. But her young employer, one of those women who's helpless without a caretaker -- and it's a credit to Adams that she manages to keep the character from being thoroughly annoying, as such characters usually are -- begs the older woman to stay and help her get out of the multiple messes she's in.

You'll have to see the film to see the results of Miss Pettigrew's choice, although you can probably guess which way she actually chooses. But the first impulse of many a Christian -- myself included, I think -- would be to flee the scene and not look back, although the little matter of needing to keep one's body and soul together would probably complicate matters. Not to mention the intriguing possibility of finding oneself living in what nearly amounts to a P. G. Wodehouse story. But this movie raises the question, even though only briefly and in a lighthearted way -- isn't it actually the more Christian option to stay and help the person who's in trouble, even if she's the one who got herself into it?

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Comments

Paul

isn't it actually the more Christian option to stay and help the person who's in trouble, even if she's the one who got herself into it?

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Not always.

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