So this past weekend my family sat down and watched the movie The Singles Ward. (Jeanne and i had seen it before, but it was the first time any of our kids had seen it.) If you haven’t seen it before, it’s not world-shatteringly great but it’s also not a bad little movie, and you should watch it if for no other reasons than (a) it has a really fun soundtrack that would drive some of our more, um, intensely artistically conservative church members absolutely insane* and (b) the rest of this post assumes you’ve seen the movie and at least somewhat remember it.
Anyway, as i watched this movie for the first time in several years, i was struck by two things. One is that the Discman shown at the beginning and end of the movie certainly dates it, even though it’s only just over a decade old. The other is more substantial: The big important turning point of the movie involves the female lead becoming severely angry and hurt because the male lead makes jokes about Mormons in his stand-up routine.
This reminded me of what i thought was the really, really major flaw of the movie:** Was the female lead character really worth chasing after? I mean, anyone who would be offended by such mild jokes, well, i don’t think such a person is worth it, you know?† But no, she gets held up as this amazing ideal, and we’re supposed to feel empathy for her. Sorry, folks, but if someone can’t watch others poke fun (mildly, even!) at a group they’re a part of, they really need to grow a thicker skin before they’re such the ideal.††
* Seriously—find Rooster’s version of “Popcorn Popping” from the movie’s soundtrack and download it now. You will be happy.
** Also, in the same sequence, a minor flaw: The evil female character’s use of the verb “to play” in a way that i’m still trying to figure out—it almost but not quite matches any of the (slang) meanings i’ve ever heard, or that i can find even on Urban Dictionary.
† There’s an irony of sorts, too, in that one of the stock characters that the movie uses to make fun of singles ward folks is a woman who is offended by patently non-offensive things.
†† I think i’m going to use the rare “Mormon-oriented literature” tag on this one, just to annoy the kind of people who don’t think literature departments should teach courses in film.
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