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June 19, 2009

I was saved by a Christian movie review

The-hangover Well, not exactly. Though I did learn a valuable lesson the other week when a co-worker of mine revealed to me the graphic and perverse content of a movie I ignorantly wanted to see, it’s an overstatement to say I would have lost my soul.

The movie is titled The Hangover. From what I had seen of the previews, it was a movie about a few young men who go to Las Vegas for their friend’s bachelor party. After waking up the next morning from a drunken night of partying, they have a few unanswered questions about the night before, such as how they came into the possession of a baby, why a tiger was in the bathroom, where the groom was, and why one of the men was missing a tooth. I found the strange mix of problems to be utterly hilarious. The movie seemed to hinge on the storyline of these men unraveling the details of their strange circumstances and finding their friend who is expected at the altar in five hours.

The movie is a box-office hit and raked in over $105 million in the first two weeks of its release.

Since the movie is rated R, I should have known there is some inappropriate material, and perhaps writing this post is penance for my willingness to pay and see a movie that lacks integrity and virtue. 

Fortunately for me, I mentioned my intention to see this movie to a co-worker, who decided to search for a review at Plugged In Online, a website and resource of Focus on the Family. In this review the seedy details of the movie were uncovered: a full array of “gratuitously explicit moments” including male and female nudity. I was relieved to have this review at my disposal. Without it I might have found myself on the most awkward date of my life (and that’s saying something). 

I learned an important lesson here. With the decreasing standards of secular society, Christians need to be ever mindful of what they expose themselves to, especially when it comes to movies. With less and less modesty and sexual purity in film, we have a duty to guard our minds and hearts from the filth to which we can fall victim. Moral decay does not happen as a single, life-changing phenomenon, but rather, through incremental steps away from God. After all, when the steps are minute, the consequences seem equally minimal.

I am guilty of my willingness to see an R-rated movie without the discretion of a trusted review. For that I should reconsider my standards with regard to film. However, I can’t help but wonder how many Christians, whether knowledgeable of the film’s quality or not, proceeded to pay good money to see a bad movie.

So, Catherine, I owe you one!

(Image © Warner Bros.)

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