The other night I couldn’t sleep. So i started flipping through the channels and landed on a movie that’s always perplexed me: Indecent Proposal. If you read any review or synopsis of the movie, the plot line is essentially love vs. money. We love to think that love conquers money. We love to believe that passion and emotion trump cold hard cash. We believe it, because it’s a nice sentiment.
The Beatles of course challenged that idea with the song titled “Money,” in which they wrote “The best things in life are free. But you can keep ‘em for the birds and bees. Now give me money, (that’s what I want) that’s what I want.” Money is a seductive and powerful influencer. It makes people do silly things.
In the movie Indecent Proposal a man is offered $1,000,000 for one night with his wife by a billionaire. Now let me be clear, one night does not equal sex. It simply means one night. I’ll spare you all the details of the movie, but I do want to hit on the key portions of the story that have always left me perplexed:
1. They agree to offer
2. The man making the proposal makes it clear to the wife that nothing will happen that she doesn’t want to happen
3. She ends up sleeping with him
4. The married couple divorce because the husband can’t get past the fact his wife slept with another man
5. The wife ends up dating the guy who made the proposal
6. They break up because the guy who made the proposal realizes, “she never would have looked at me like she did him”
7. The husband and wife get back together because the husband realizes “…that the things that people in love do to each other, they remember. And if they stay together, it’s not because they forget. It’s because they forgive.”
Ok here is why I’m perplexed…we love to take sides in movies. We love to choose person A over B. A good movie sucks you in, creates the emotional connection, and makes your brain hurt because the choices are difficult. Publications like The New York Times reviewed this movie when it came out over a decade ago. Their reviews depicted the difficulty in choosing sides between the husband and the wife. Was the husband to blame because he agreed to let his wife spend the night with the billionaire? Was the woman to blame for agreeing to spend the night and then subsequently sleeping with the billionaire? I kid you not, pundits, reviewers and critics have debated this topic.
So why am I perplexed? Because I see this as really simple. The wife is to blame. Not only did she agree to spend the night, but she made the choice to sleep with the billionaire. She did both of these with her own free will. I wont even touch the whole decision to then divorce her husband (she filed) and date the billionaire. The husband was a saint for somehow staying in love with her, fighting for her after he lost her and then of course taking her back.
She chose money twice over love…
I don’t get it? Why is it so simple for me? What am I missing? Help me out.