Sunday, August 03, 2008

Jack and Jill vs. The World

I'm putting my thoughts here in my blog rather than in the forums because I'm concerned that the topics I bring up may lead to having the thread locked. I'm not seeking to be contrary, I'm just pointing out the things that stood out in the movie that I didn't like. Some of the things are themes and situations that come out in many other movies these days, not just Jack and Jill.

It's rare to find a movie that doesn't show a couple hopping into bed together or living together without commitment. It's sad that such things are so commonplace and no longer taboo. Remember the days when Ricky and Lucy had twin beds across the room from one another? It appears that modesty and decency are a thing of the past.

Personally, I didn't care for the movie at all for several reasons. I've outlined 6 of them here.

1. Jill kept trying to change Jack into a guy she wanted him to be.

My thoughts: Look for someone who's compatible with what your ideals are. Don't be afraid to aim high.

2. Jack smoked.

My Thoughts: CFers are discouraged from being around smoke. Why subject yourself knowingly to this sort of harm?

3. She was deceptive about her CF and Jack called her on it. She reacted poorly. I believe Jack was in the right to be upset at her for not being up front about CF. After all, part of their manifesto was to always be honest.

My Thoughts:
It's up to the individual when and how to tell a significant other about having CF. Personally, I found that I had less heartache by telling people about my CF BEFORE dating them. That way I never had to worry about how the breaking the news to them would disrupt the emotional/romantic groundwork that had already been put in place.

4. They lived together while dating.

My Thoughts:
Statistically speaking, couples who cohabitate (aka shack up) have a much higher risk of splitting up or never marrying at all.
This is because there is no formal commitment. The odds are dramatically higher for unplanned pregnancy, a brutal break up or abuse in situations where couples are living together apart from marriage. Also, guys don't truly respect a woman who will live with them before marriage. They see it as an opportunity for sex without commitment. I highly recommend that you save sex and living together for marriage. It's worth it.

5. The underlying message of the movie seemed to be "do whatever you want as long as you're living it up." In other words, it's okay to be selfish if you have a life-threatening disease.

My thoughts: Philosophically speaking, I have never found true joy in simply "living it up" just because I think I'm entitled to it because I have CF. Living for the moment really isn't worth it. The thrills of living for the moment pale in comparison to the choices I've made that have long-term benefits. (For example, not harming my body with illicit substances.)

6. Who is the target audience?

My Thoughts: This is hardly a movie about generating knowledge about CF. It's got outdated information and procedures, and only touches momentarily on the actual effects of CF (when Jill's friend asks if she's a barfer--bulimic--she says she can't absorb food because of CF.) This isn't a story about a girl with CF. It's a story about a guy who is being challenged to break away from his predictable and safe routine and open up.

If you're looking for something to help explain CF to people, this isn't it. A better choice would be to either read Following Joey Home by Meg Woodson or Toothpick by K.E. Ethridge. This books deal a bit of a softer blow than some of the autobiographies that CFers these days are writing. They're a good starting place for people who are new to CF.






Comments:
I think it is safe to say that all Cf patients will have a problem with this movie.....

There were a lot of things that were misleading, i wish my "tune ups" only lasted a day :)

I am so glad you are out of the joint...WELCOME HOME
 
I haven't seen the movie. I value your thoughts about it.

I've been keeping up with you even though I haven't commented. I was at Ella's for her second birthday. Can you believe it? She is one funny kid.
 
I haven't seen it. Since we're in LA, we could have gone to the premiere, but I heard from the grapevine, it wasn't great.

I can't believe she dates a smoker. I was so amazed the first time a nurse at the CF clinic asked if anyone smoked in the home! It was a standard question, but who would do that? Even outside, when someone is smoking, we steer clear. Although it's somewhat hypocritical, since we live in the city of super smog.
 
Hi! I found your blog through Somer's blog... I have CF and just had a lung tx on 7-08-08. I recently also watched Jack and Jill and found it disappointing but at least it brings another voice to CF. I must say I respect your opinions on living together b/f marriage, but I have also always believed that statistics shouldn't make your decision on how to lead your life. My husband and I lived together for 2 yrs b/f we were married and we have been together almost 6 yrs.
 
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