She is impressed by the popularity of the network program Desperate Housewives, and a recent Oprah episode on the joys of infidelity. Then there is the movie Alfie, a remake of a sleeping-around story of the 1960s. Not to mention Kinsey, which casts the pitiful bisexual masochist as a heroic prophet of sexual revolution, and Closer, which adds potty-mouthed dialogue and skin shots to Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe?, the 1966 assault on the hypocrisies and betrayals of bourgeois marriage.This in itself isn’t new; this kind of fare is par for the course from Hollywood. Fr. Neuhaus concludes,
Maybe the same planet that Mike Leigh came from?
The interesting thing is the conclusion drawn by Caryn James. In this world of endless cheating and lying, she says, “monogamy has come to seem an impossible goal; the new ideal is honesty about infidelity.” [MH – not having read the article by James (NYT, December 8, 2004), I can’t rule out that her words were spoken ironically, but I trust Fr. Neuhaus on this one] Open marriage, anyone? Caryn James is a credit to the planet on which she was born.