Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
Women are unequal, so we’ll have a “sexual revolution” …
People in the inner city are disproportionately poor, so we’ll ensure their “welfare” …
Not every religion is welcome in our schools, so we’ll kick God out altogether …
We have millions without access to health care, so we’ll create a government safety net and mandate everyone has insurance …
And now that we’ve enacted all these liberal “reforms” …
… women are no longer honored by men, their sexuality demeaned from sacred to casual, and 50 million of their children are dead to abortion.
… generations of inner city children grow up without fathers, and whole communities have lost the will to work, looking to government to provide for them.
… rampant immorality, crime, drugs, teen pregnancy and general adolescent stupidity reign in our schools, as academic standards tumble to the sewers.
… insurance rates are through the roof, businesses are being buried in health-care costs, doctors are leaving the profession in droves and insurance plans and employers are dropping people, so millions who had good private insurance may soon have to rely on an inferior government plan. And I haven’t even talked about rationing and the very real “death panels” yet.
Gee, how are those reforms working out for ya?
The same way liberal reforms almost always work out. They address a real problem … and make it worse.
The same thing happens in Hollywood. Perfectly good stories, intriguing ideas and talented actors are put together on a well-intentioned project … then a triple dose of liberalism turns the whole movie to dung.
Take in point the almost really funny, almost heart-warming, almost good story that’s tearing up the box office this weekend called “Identity Thief.”
The brilliant comedienne and Oscar-nominated actress Melissa McCarthy stars as a wild-child identity thief living high on the hog in Florida, when suddenly one of her victims – played by Jason Bateman – shows up to drag her back to Denver to pay for her crimes.
Hijinks naturally ensue on an everything-goes-wrong road trip that actually includes a redemptive storyline about caring for others and learning to do the right thing.
So far, so good.
But then the liberal agenda starts.
The film begins by advancing the leftist, class-warfare narrative that successful business owners are heartless, greedy jerks who enjoy messing over their employees, especially the middle-class middle managers (the movie even makes a point of twice telling audiences exactly how much Bateman’s character makes and portraying as fabulous wealth an offer he receives to make Obama’s magic income number of $250,000).
That could be a minor matter, a forgivable point, because it’s good comedic fodder.
But then, the movie decides to give us an extended scene about a wild and kinky ménage à trois moment, followed by an obnoxiously lusty one-night stand – all played for laughs, of course.
Isn’t this new, sexual morality-free world wonderful?
Oh, and speaking of morals …
The movie then beats audiences over the head with a scene in which the concept of “traditional values” are intentionally lampooned as racist, xenophobic, homophobic and practically Klan-like. That’s when the movie just went too far.
When is it a good idea to just insult and belittle your audience for holding “traditional values”? Oh, yes, when you’re in lefty land.
As a film itself, “Identity thief” is occasionally funny, if a little lost in terms of what it’s trying to do. McCarthy turns in a fantastic performance. The moral of the story is even sweet and touching.
All the good intentions are there.
But then the liberal agenda gets its hooks into it – and another funny movie, another good story, another great performance are all destroyed by a phenomenon all-too common in Hollywood, the ruinous effects of a liberal agenda.
“Identity Thief” contains over 120 obscenities and profanities. Even the script was ruined by our new, morally “liberated” world.
The movie contains dozens of brazen sexual references and jokes and one extended scene where a couple is having sex with lots of shouting and movement (for comedic effect), but it’s all seen from the floor, so only faces and feet hanging off the bed are actually seen.
The film contains a fair amount of slapstick humor, with car crashes and punches and slips and falls, etc. There are two alarming scenes with a car crash and a person struck by a car. Realism of outcome is significantly lacking in these moments.
With the exception of slamming “traditional values,” the film has no significant religious or occult references.