Like many little kids, I got my healthy dose of classic Disney films such as Peter Pan, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast (BEST animated love story of all time!). However as I got older, I came to fall in love with those classic old movies. You know which ones I am talking about...the ones where the love story is actually something beautiful and truly romantic (ex. Casablanca, Roman Holiday, My Fair Lady, Pride and Prejudice, etc.) not just raunchy, endless scenes of two people rolling around in the hay. I think that is one of the reasons I am so drawn to older, more classic movies. Sure, they had some great actors and big name studio directors...but the more I look at movies today, I see how hyper-sexualized they have become. God forbid, a movie in today's world without certain scenes that makes me wanna yell, "Seriously, go get a room!!!" Hard to imagine, huh????
Clearly in our world, there is a huge loss of the sense of chastity. By chastity, I don't just mean not having sex; but instead, to focus on the purification of your feelings, emotions, desires for another person...instead of the Nike slogan, "just do it." Chastity is a mind set teens and adults need to acquire and grow in; I don't really think you will ever come to that day and say, "Yup, that's it...I have mastered the virtue of chastity!" Heck, look at St. Augustine, he was a great Doctor of the Church and that poor guy struggled with lust vs. chastity for a good long while. It is not any different today, and the problem is not being helped any when almost every movie plot line seems to involve unhealthy attitudes towards sexuality.
Movies today have such a loss of chastity that any "love" story in the film is almost tainted and not even appealing because of the demeaning way sex is portrayed in it. The loss of chastity really does lead to a loss of romance! There is nothing romantic about all that garbage, because there is no self-sacrifice or purity. Real romance is all about self-sacrifice and purity. I watch a movie like Casablanca (which if you have never seen you need too, because it is total awesomeness!). The really beautiful, romantic part of the movie is the self-sacrificing love when Rick gives up being with Ilsa because he knows it is for her own good; her cares about her so much, he puts aside his desire to be with her, and thinks of her best interest, not his. There are no drawn out "love scenes" that almost make you uncomfortable just watching, but rather in this movie you see the epitome of real love and romance...laying down one's desires for the better of another. Sound familiar???? Well, Jesus told us that there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for a friend...and Jesus' example of real love in dying on the cross, is what we are all called to in any relationship; friendship, dating, and/or marriage. Real Romance needs chastity, or else you get these God-awful excuses for movies such as Dirty Dancing or Pretty Woman...talk about hyper-sexualized!?!?!?!
Real romance has nothing to with taking your clothes off, but has EVERYTHING to do with taking off your selfishness and replace it with purity of heart.
P.S. This is a picture from Casablanca...the very pivotal, romantic scene where Rick gives up Ilsa (sigh...tears)