I am very disappointed with “Peal Harbor Buzz Bomb,” John Prizer's review of the movie Pearl Harbor in the June 10-16 issue of the Register. It did not even attempt to highlight this movie's strong Catholic messages. Prizer missed the obvious pro-chastity message and the clearly portrayed consequence of losing one's true freedom if a person does engage in sex outside of marriage.
Prizer did not even mention that thee leading characters, Rafe [Ben Affleck] and Evelyn [Kate Beckinsale], fell in love and chose not to engage in premarital sex. In fact, while Rafe is leaving in the morning for a dangerous mission, the couple is headed for a hotel with obvious intentions. Our handsome hero stops his beautiful girlfriend and convinces here that she, and sex, are worth waiting for. He tells her, “I don't want you to have anything to regret when I'm gone.” I wanted to stand up and cheer for this young man's courage to sacrifice his own desires and bridle his passions to protect the virtue of the woman he loves. The message here is, “True love waits and is worth waiting for.”
And then our hero is shot down and crashes into the Atlantic Ocean. He is presumed dead, but later reappears to tell how his burning love for Evelyn kept him alive in the bitter cold of the Atlantic Ocean. The powerful message here: “True love can conquer all.”
Prizer notes that Evelyn, thinking her true love is dead, pursues a sexual relationship with Danny [Josh Harnett], but does not mention how the movie clearly portrays this relationship as a shallow distraction for Evelyn compared to the deeper, more meaningful, chaste relationship with her one true love, Rafe.
Pearl Harbor clearly shows some of the consequences of sex outside of marriage as Evelyn discovers she is pregnant with Danny's child the same day that Rafe returns unexpectedly, very much alive and in love with Evelyn. But Evelyn is no longer free to go to her true love. If she had been dating Danny and had kept her clothes on, she would have been free to go to her true love. But now Rafe knows, and she knows, that this is no longer possible.
Prizer talks about Rafe's understandable bitterness but he never mentions Rafe's willingness to forgive and marry Evelyn and raise Danny's son as his own after Danny is killed in action in the war. The powerful message here is, “True love can heal and forgive, even after infidelity.”
I believe people want to see true love wait and true love conquer (as well as true love heal and forgive). I believe Pearl Harbor is selling because there are powerful messages of truth presented with beautiful people and a big budget.
I walked out of Pearl Harbor saying, “Thank God! That was a great date movie with great messages.”
I finished reading Prizer's review saying, “I can't believe this! How could he have missed the obvious truths in this movie?” And feeling disappointed that many people might skip this movie because of the trust people place in the Register's uniquely Catholic perspective — which was not well represented by Prizer's review.
Paso Robles, California