I want to see the new movie “Get him to the Greek,” but when I saw the trailer, my “nudity warning system” or NWS went off. It’s like Spiderman’s danger detecting spidey sense only it allows me to detect possible toplessness.
I don’t think that’s even a word, but I promise that movie was off the chart as far as the NWS went. (My system has never failed me except for Starship Troopers, which is a great movie. If that’s on TBS, I don’t leave the house.) I’d like to pretend that I can rent Get him to the Greek when it comes out on DVD and just skip a few of the scenes, possibly even recommending it to other people with a classic Christian disclaimer. But here’s the problem and a prediction …
The movie “Get him to the Greek” will be released as an “unrated edition.”
This phenomenon has been shot blocking me a lot lately at the video store. And it’s not like I’m against nudity, I’m the one who tried to institute “Naked November” at the Acuff house before we had kids. It’s just that I’ve got such a residual hangover from all the filth I ingested in my 20s that I don’t need to add more to my slowly sanctifying soul.
Just once, I would love to see Hollywood release a Christian version of a movie instead of an unrated version. Here are 4 ways they could do that:
1. More Kirk Cameron
Wait, wait, wait. Before you judge my fandom of Kirk Cameron, hear me out. I actually want directors to not just add more Kirk, I want them to add more Mike Seaver. Kirk’s character from the show, “Growing Pains,” was perhaps the Fonzi of my generation. Along with his sidekick Boner, he got into an incredibly amount of mischief and/or shenanigans. And the ladies loved him. Just ask my friend Julie Woelbern. I think she had a Mike Seaver poster in her room from the magazine “Tiger Beat.” I believe every movie ever made would be improved by at least 15% with the addition of Mike Seaver.
2. Don’t create a “crisis Christian” character.
Is there some cinematic ordinance that the Christian character in every movie or television show has to be in the middle of a crisis of faith, pregnant with octuplets, get arrested for illegally importing exotic birds or be a separatist planning to blow up the post office in order to kick start the apocalypse? I get that crisis creates drama, but just once I’d love to see a character who wasn’t in the middle of one.
3. Quit pretending the nudity is plot driven
Unless the secret killer in the mystery movie was in fact a breast, there’s rarely need for nudity. (The 7th grade version of Jon Acuff would punch the 34 year old Jon Acuff in the face if he knew I was writing these sentences.) I get that it drives tickets sometimes or controversy to have Halle Berry topless, but it has nothing to do with the plot. Quit.
4. Quit taking lazy swear shortcuts
Profanity “is a great shortcut of comedy and the reason I don’t use it is that I am concerned about the joke quality suffering.” I didn’t say that. A guy named Jerry Seinfeld did. He felt like using swears was like cutting across the infield during a NASCAR race. You got the finish line faster but you took a lazy shortcut. And I feel like he’s right. Swears can be such humor crutches. Write better jokes.
Chances are, none of those four things will happen despite the fact that the Passion of the Christ made 94 bajillion dollars and the profit on the movie Fireproof was roughly 8000%. But please know that in all seriousness I’ve talked to two studios about a Stuff Christians Like movie and I will probably incorporate all of them. I’m also thinking about casting Edward James Olmos. I’m not sure why, but I’m pretty sure he’ll be in it.
How would you add some Christian flair if they ever made a Christian version of movies? (Please, no Rob Bell “There’s no such thing as Christian music” arguments. He makes a compelling argument that I dig, it’s just been argued slightly more than the amount of dollars Passion earned.)