It’s Not in the Rating: Looking at Negative Influences in Stories: Frozen and Grand Torino

Do ratings reliably guide us concerning the negative influence a film may have? A comparison of the movies Frozen and Gran Torino looks at this and related issues.
on Apr 2, 2020 · 12 comments

I’ve done a series of posts on Speculative Faith that concluded by looking at Satanic influence in entertainment (I’m linking the last post in that series here). Of course there’s an inherent problem in even suggesting that it’s extremely common for Satan to attempt to influence the content of stories. First, it sounds like I’m minimizing human responsibility for sin, which I don’t mean to do (just because the serpent tempted doesn’t mean Adam and Eve weren’t responsible for doing wrong). Second, by pointing out where what we could call “negative influences” are laced into many stories, it may sound as if I’m rejecting creativity or denying stories can have good purposes–which I don’t mean either, not at all, or I wouldn’t be a writer and publisher. And third, so many people have freaked out about Satan in an over-the-top way that even mentioning the Devil causes some people’s eyes to start rolling around, assuming nothing but a paranoid rant follows (and mentioning Satan causes some other people to freak out and overreact). Neither a rant nor freaking out is what I have in mind.

So perhaps when talking about looking at negative influences in stories, to be better received, it would be more to my advantage to avoid using words like “Satan” or “evil” or even “a potential for evil,” at least for now. Though please do understand that I believe it’s not an accident that so many “negative influences” are in a great many stories. In that light, this post is a case study in looking at negative influences based on two stories, the G-rated tale, Frozen. And the R-rated movie, Grand Torino. Hint: I don’t see the rating as a strong indicator of whether a story is clear of negative influences or not.

Are G-ratings automatically good?

I’ve already telegraphed that my answer to this question is, “No.” But why? Doesn’t a G-rating guarantee a story doesn’t have content that won’t traumatize a child? Doesn’t clean, family-friendly fiction equal good?

I think Bambi was traumatic for lots of kids, by the way. However, Bambi was not a primary example I picked for this post. My point in mentioning it is yes, G-ratings are generally geared towards making sure a child isn’t exposed to trauma, but there have still been traumatic G-ratings. And also–G-rated films at times have had powerful impacts on public opinion, as a linked article about wildlife conservation discusses the effects of G-rated movies on attitudes about animals.

So if Bambi and other G-rated movies can change people’s attitudes about animals (Finding Nemo made the clownfish an extremely popular aquarium tank addition, for example), could it be a G-rated film would have influence towards sin, even if it doesn’t necessarily show sin “on camera”? Just as the death of Bambi’s mother didn’t happen on camera but still was a powerful part of the story?

Yeah, I’m saying G-rated films can have a negative influence.

But don’t you like clean fiction?

Last week’s post included me mentioning I like the Netflix series The Kingdom and that I also find it relatively clean (no nudity, no profanity, even though it it is at times quite graphically violent). The fact I mentioned “clean” as a virtue would seem to indicate I hold clean fiction up as a good thing and graphic fiction as bad.

In fact, it’s an extremely common attitude among Christians to see G-rated “clean” as good and R-rated as bad. Though it’s getting to be a rather old-fashioned attitude now.

More common now, at least in the circles of friends I have, is to think profanity amounts to just words that only have the meaning people assign to them (as opposed to being intrinsically bad), so they mean nothing, so they are just fine in fiction. Acceptance of nudity in film is less common, but some people do accept it de facto by watching, say, Game of Thrones. And some few people accept nudity in media more openly as being only natural or not much of a big deal or “something I don’t like, but it doesn’t affect me much.”

So where am I on the spectrum of G to R? I’d say I’m not really on that spectrum at all, because there are G-rated films I don’t care for and R-rated media I think are generally good. Though I do think R-ratings are in general more prone to showing content a Christian should reasonably object to. Here’s why I say so:

On “normalizing”

In general, if you expose someone to something in a story enough times, a person comes to see what they observe in a tale as normal. Whereas a story may attempt to portray something as abnormal or show something bad with the intent of showing it being bad, in general, people identify with the protagonists of a story. If the protagonist does something, people think what the protagonist does is good and normal. Generally.

This is one of the primary ways that stories influence people. Sure, it isn’t the only way, but in general, if a story shows the central figure of a story doing something, it’s promoting the audience doing and thinking the same thing. Again, of course it is possible for a viewer to see the protagonist as aberrant and not identify with him or her. But generally a reader or viewer will have no interest in a story in which they have nothing in common with the main character. Again, generally.

So what do I think about some of the main behaviors R-rated movies are known for normalizing?

On profanity

Yes, it really is true that words only have the meaning a culture assigns to them. Which means in terms of meaning attached to sounds, “duck” isn’t any dirtier a sound if you start it with the letter “f” than if you start it with a “d.” So what? A word isn’t just a sound, it’s a meaning attached to a sound. And we live in a culture in which mostly comedians but other folks as well systematically used many of the most offensive words they could in order to shock people into laughing. Or reacting.

Now it’s become a cultural habit for many people to routinely use the most shocking terms available to them out of a menu of all possible terms. Yeah, since it’s become cultural, a lot of these terms have lost a lot of their shock value and in effect are becoming less vulgar than they used to be. And due to shifting cultural attitudes, some other terms are more vulgar than they used to be, like racial slurs. (But certain comedians use racial slurs, and in general comedy seems to keep using whatever terms are most shocking, so this is an ongoing issue…)

Still, it’s the very act of seeking the strongest language possible that’s objectionable. Why should Christians be cool with that? Don’t we believe our mouths belong to Christ? So I think in general Christians should be against profanity.

Though we should also recognize not everyone uses “bad language” with the same intent. For some people, it’s just a habit they picked up from others. We don’t have to act offended and holier-than-thou when talking with such people. But we don’t have to imitate them, either!

So in general I prefer media in which the main characters don’t cuss. However, I also like media in which people deal with adult issues like death, suffering, violence, and hardship. And it’s quite challenging to find media that deal with adult issues without using “adult language” (which could be better called “shocking language”). So sometimes I accept profanity in media I consume, even though I don’t want to produce profanity in what I write or publish. Because it’s just not necessary to use the worst words available for emphasis.

By the way, to anyone who would think that cussing is only normal if the situation is tough enough, I’d say yeah, that’s a little true in that people who would not otherwise swear are more likely to do so when things go bad. But I’ve generally avoided using profanity in my life, even when surrounded by it in the military. Though I did use the four letter word referring to excrement when getting rocketed in Iraq. Which I suspect had more impact when I said it because I normally don’t use that word. But anyway…

On nudity and violence

Look, some stories refer to nudity because it’s important to the story. Nazis really did strip down death camp victims before sending them to be gassed in the showers. But most stories don’t need it at all and those that include it don’t need to play up the sexiest aspects. Even if one character is seducing another, it’s not necessary to show everything.

Plus I have a problem in which I can’t look at the body of a healthy nude woman without feeling some desire. I think my problem is a pretty common one, but not many people I know openly mention they have an issue. So in general I’m against the normalization of nudity in visual media.

Violence I am more accepting of–but that’s in part because I find violence repulsive and not attractive. I don’t like gore or bloodshed. Though I can’t say I am not drawn to the shock value of violence at times, moved by the portrayal of violence at times. As in Saving Private Ryan or The Passion of the Christ and many other examples.

Though I think normalizing gore, as in getting people used to seeing it so that they are not shocked by it, is a negative effect. So I would prefer violence to be suggestive rather than realistic in most cases, though there are exceptions.

So aren’t you contradicting yourself? (Or, on bad behavior.)

No, not really. In general, I find stuff that tags a movie or other media with an R-rating is not necessary. But there are exceptions. The thing I’m most concerned about is effects on me. My own potential for bad behavior.

I don’t want to be exposed to so much profanity with the purpose of being shocking or funny (yes, I’m talking about you, Deadpool) that I use it without thinking. Because I don’t want to use the most offensive language possible to me–that’s rude at the very least.

I don’t want to be exposed to nudity that causes me to lust. Nor do I want to see so much nudity that I think nudity is simply normal and I have no sensitivity to it anymore. But I don’t see nudity as absolutely forbidden in stories.

I want to see violence that shocks me and makes me feel the stakes are high, i.e. landing on Omaha Beach in Saving Private Ryan. I don’t want to see so much violence I no longer care about it. Nor do I want to see a celebration of violence as funny or somehow cool.

So let’s get to the comparison: Frozen and Gran Torino.

Gran Torino main cast. Image copyright: Warner Brothers.

Image copyright: Disney

Readers, most of you have probably deduced by now that I’m going to say I think Frozen is a worse movie that Gran Torino. Yep, that’s what I think. (By the way, I’m going to assume you are familiar with these films without explaining them–if you’d like to look them up on Wikipedia to find out more, feel free to do so.)

Gran Torino

Note my general approval of this Clint Eastwood film in spite of me having some real reservations about Gran Torino. Not only does it do a lot of normalizing of profanity, it also includes a lot of racial slurs. A lot. Which I definitely don’t think are good and don’t habitually want to pick up. Though we can fairly say that the movie also goes out of its way to show the protagonist, Walt, is habitually profane and doesn’t necessarily mean it the way other people would.

The movie was also both praised for including real Hmong people as actors and condemned by some for including certain stereotypes, including getting some common characteristics of Hmong culture wrong (most importantly perhaps, that Sue is raped by a gang that would be part of her clan, which would be as much anathema to Hmong culture as to anybody else). So we ought to accept the limitations of what the movie shows about Hmong.

We could also say the movie perpetuates stereotypes of tough guys (“toxic masculinity” someone might say) as heroes. But I would say that the film shows a real downside to Walt’s masculine perspective on the world, including alienation from his family (never being able to connect with his sons). In some ways, he expresses himself more to his neighbor Than than he had done for decades prior. Which we can see as a thawing of typical male “toxicity.” (Note I am not saying I see something inherently wrong with being masculine–I don’t think that way. But there’s a point in going too far, especially in not expressing emotions.)

The film has also been criticized as not being sufficiently subtle or nuanced. Yeah, there are more nuanced films. But lack of nuance makes it easier to use here as an example.

Another complaint about this film is that a white person helps a non-white person. “White savior” is what that’s called. Honestly, this gets my eyes rolling–what, it would be better if he were an apathetic white person? But I can actually concede the point that while Than (Spider) and Sue are very important characters to the film, they are in some ways portrayed as lacking the ability to resolve their own problems or “lacking agency.”

Overall, it can be fairly said this movie has a message pointed at a white audience more than an Asian one. Ok, fine. But what is that message?

The film on the positive end of things includes:

  1. Someone who seems more racist than he is (but who really is racist) developing compassion and empathy for people of another race.
  2. The protagonist shifts from being hostile to his neighbors to loving his neighbor as himself.
  3. The protagonist literally dies to save the life of his neighbor. In fact, when he’s shot dead by the Hmong gang, he even opens his arms wide, his supine corpse forming the shape of a cross.

    Walt’s death. Image copyright: Waner Bros.

  4. The death of the protagonist buys freedom, i.e. salvation for the secondary character of Than.

In short, the essential theme of Gran Torino is self-sacrificing love. A very Christian view of that kind of love, including a nod at substitutionary atonement. Even though it has other characteristics we should admit to and confront and not celebrate.

So what’s wrong with Frozen?

Just as I conceded bad things about Gran Torino, let’s admit good things about Frozen. The film is clean of course, which means it doesn’t normalize racial slurs or profanity. That’s a good thing.

Also, the movie does a course correction on the general “love at first sight” thing that Disney princess movies have way over-done. (Is “love at first sight” an actual thing? Ask around and you will find out it is–but is it the only way people get married and come to know each other? Not even close!) By casting Hans as a bad guy, we can say Frozen does provides an important on-the-other-hand to older Disney films.

And we can in addition celebrate that the climax of the story features Anna sacrificing herself to save Elsa and everything turning out well as a result. Isn’t Frozen the same as Gran Torino, each a story about self-sacrificing love? Um, no, I wouldn’t say they are the same, even though there is some similarity at that point. Not even in the self-sacrifice part. It isn’t the same because Anna doesn’t actually die, but only appears to. And sacrificing for a close relative is the most common kind of self-sacrifice in the real world–it’s much more powerful (I would say) to self-sacrifice for someone you are not related to.

But more importantly, the hit song that everyone remembers from Frozen is not about self-sacrificing love. Anna’s love for Elsa and vice versa are very important to the story to be sure, but something else, another idea, is more important to the story and more memorable. Let it go.

So Elsa’s parents tell her in essence to control an aspect of herself in order to prevent harm to other people. And even have her cover up with gloves and such. Eventually, Elsa realizes she can’t cover up and can’t be what her parents want: she has to “let it go!”

What’s wrong with letting it go?

The story of course is G-rated, the closest it gets to tying letting “it” go to sexuality is Elsa takes off the extra clothing and gloves her parents say she needed to wear. Though I rather suspect many people will wind up subconsciously linking the “it” of “letting it go” to sexual behavior at some point. Because people think about sex, people. Honest!

Oh, I’m being a dirty-minded prude, am I? That’s what some people are thinking on reading this.

Ok, lemmie admit that the “let it go” thing is very general overall, with only a few hints like clothing that point in the direction of sensuality. It could well be someone could see this film and never, ever pick up on what I’m talking about. Though just because that’s possible, that doesn’t mean most people would never subconsciously pick up a connection–but anyway, it doesn’t really matter. The point doesn’t change much if “let it go” has a general reference.

“Let it go” could be applied to anything. Even good things. Maybe you’ve been suppressing an artistic talent and you need to “let it go.”

But does our society in general have a problem with being too suppressed, too under control? Does our society as an overall whole need to let things go more often? Eh, I’d say, “No.”

Doesn’t fighting against sin in general in a Christian’s life include suppressing things you know you shouldn’t do? Yeah, a Christian should “walk by the Spirit” which includes the Spirit guiding a person to do good things from an inner motivation. But what if at any given moment you don’t want to do good? Is it in general OK to “let it go?”

Um, pretty much, no.

The overall impact of “let it go” might be different if it went to Victorians. Arguably, they were too repressed  and needed to relax at least somewhat (ironically, maybe Walt in Gran Torino could “let it go” a bit). But is that what our culture needs? This reminds me of what C.S. Lewis had his demon offer up as advice in The Screwtape Letters:

“The use of fashions in thought is to distract men from their real dangers. We direct the fashionable outcry of each generation against those vices of which it is in the least danger, and fix its approval on the virtue that is nearest the vice which we are trying to make endemic. The game is to have them all running around with fire extinguishers whenever there’s a flood; and all crowding to that side of the boat which is already nearly gone under.”

Yeah, I don’t think “let it go” is a good message for our culture. Yes, I think it’s subversive overall. Even though it could be applied to good things.

So are you saying we should ban Frozen now?

No. Not at all. First of all, negative messages are very common in stories. Including some G-rated films. Banning them all doesn’t even make sense. If you don’t want to watch a particular show because you think it’s bad, that’s fine. But protesting to Disney or getting angry I think is a waste of time.

As a creator, if I don’t like that kind of story, my most logical option is to attempt to make one I think is better–though there is no guarantee I will be able to do so in terms of quality and production. It fact, beating the appeal of Disney is awfully hard. (That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try!)

Confront the negative, emphasize the positive

What I am saying we should do is admit the troubling aspects of calling out in general to this society to “let it go.” If our kids see Frozen, we should talk about the issue of whether Elsa really did have to let it go. Were her parents wrong to ask her to do that in the first place? Was there perhaps another solution available to them? What if the impulse Elsa was fighting was to steal from people? Or murder people? Would it be OK for her to “let it go” then? When is it and is it not OK to “let it go?”

You can also talk about positive way to see “letting it go”–maybe you could deliberately link it to creativity. Or honesty.

You could alternatively say (especially if talking to other people’s kids, when you don’t have as much freedom) what you really like about the story is Anna’s self-sacrifice for the sake of love, but that the other part of the story you didn’t like as much.

There are in fact lots of ways to react. But I think confronting the negative or potential negative is a part of a healthy reaction. If you aren’t doing that, you aren’t really dealing with the world we actually live in. A world in which, yes, it really is true that an evil spiritual mastermind is trying to influence our culture.

We don’t have to freak out–we don’t have to ban things–we don’t have to over-react. But we should admit real issues, confront them, and also accentuate what is good.

Ask yourself this, did Jesus ever confront wrong attitudes in people–He actually did. Often. Though not by rejecting supposedly bad people outright.

We can do the same.

Be sober, be vigilant

What I’m talking about is all part of walking a spiritual walk. Like good soldiers (2 Timothy 2:3), we endure the difficulties of life, we prepare ourselves by putting on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18), and we remain alert to what the enemy can do (I Peter 5:8), confident in our weapons being able to face anything thrown our way, but alert to something taking us by surprise. Which means we can in fact enjoy things around us, but we have to enjoy with a weapon strapped to our hip, so to speak. Our guard should never go all the way down. Not even for G-rated movies.

Don’t judge a film by its rating as much as what messages it contains–not that ratings don’t ever matter.

So, dear readers, what are your thoughts on this topic? I’m perfectly fine with you disagreeing if you wish. I’d like to hear your point of view!


(By the way, I’ve recorded a version of this post to a podcast–one where I covered the same material in different words:)

Travis Perry is a hard-core Bible user, history, science, and foreign language geek, hard science fiction and epic fantasy fan, publishes multiple genres of speculative fiction at Bear Publications, is an Army Reserve officer with five combat zone deployments. He also once cosplayed as dark matter.
Website ·
  1. Marian Jacobs says:

    Good thoughts. My biggest pushback would be about the negative aspects of Frozen. I used to hold this same view of “Let It Go,” but have recently started digging a little deeper into plot and character arc in this film. At the point in the film that Elsa sings that song, she’s at her most selfish and disillusioned. She’s abandoned her family, responsibilities, etc. for a life of ease. There’s not much that’s good about that song, and that’s the point, right? She still has a very long way to go in learning how to be a good sister and a good queen. What didn’t work was how the filmmakers glorified that moment of freedom. But since she does eventually figure it out she was wrong to leave, it sorta works itself out. Almost. It’s Anna that, although naive, has real virtue in this story. If anything, Frozen II has far more insidious messages hidden even deeper in the plot and even the magic system.

    • Yes. I think “Let It Go” is not the overall message the film is sending. The beliefs Elsa embraces in that song have consequences (freezing the kingdom and nearly killing her sister).

      • Travis Perry says:

        I made part of this comment to someone else below, but it applies here.

        I’m saying the catchiness of the song “Let it Go” and the general attitude behind it will have more impact on the intended audience of young viewers than the climax of the film. But even if that isn’t true, Elsa never really “repents” of having cast aside her parents’ restrictions. Her final status is one who has “let it go” but no longer has to do so in isolation. I.e. letting it go basically paid off.

        The consequences you mention don’t require Elsa to back off having let it go, not entirely. So the consequences seem more focused on the society to me–by rejecting Elsa, they brought risk upon themselves.

        Am I see that wrong? If so, how?

  2. notleia says:

    Shorter tsun tsun Travis: if nobody dies in it, why should I be interested? /s

    Y’know, Stephen, Zack, this does make me appreciate your positive approach more (that I gleaned by secondhand because I still don’t want to be bothered with a podcast). These “old man yells at cloud” approaches are a dime a dozen.

    • Travis Perry says:

      Really now? I didn’t yell at anything.

      Nice try at an ad hominem though…

      • notleia says:

        That’s a reference to a meme, silly beans. You’re being very tsun tsun today, desu ne?

        • Travis Perry says:

          Sorry. My education in memes is lacking.

          However, I don’t feel too bad about it. I do at times feel left out of the crowd, but overall I believe I survive just fine paying minimal attention to memes. There’s only so much info a person can process and I’d rather be reading stuff that interests me, space, history, Bible, physics, etc.

          I still suspect you’re misapplying whichever meme you’re referring to, but why don’t you share a link to the meme here? So that way I’ll know for certain where you’re coming from…

          • notleia says:

            You want to make sure I’m abiding by rules in memes, the most lawless and evolutionarily prolific form of communication yet invented by mankind? For someone who claims not to not be a rules-ey person, you do tend to rely on them as a defense mechanism against the horrible possibility of being wrong on the internet. I know you’re prickly after feeling dogpiled on the other day, but I’m just teasing you about being a reactionary Old. You’re good enough at thematic nitpicking to be an SJW.

  3. I agree that rating doesn’t always equal bad or good. In a way it’s almost like someone assuming that a story is for children just because it’s animated or about animals. Assuming such things is a good way to expose children to the wrong content too early AND to demean the quality of some very awesome stories(because many people assume that stories meant for kids are always lame or low quality)

    I heard that back then PG or PG-13 movies were actually more akin to what we would call R rated now, so with older movies rating would be a bad guide from that standpoint. From what I understand, and show might actually be sort of clean but get an R rating just because the chars cussed one too many times or something.

    Bambi was pretty tame, all in all, so probably a good way to start showing kids that life can be sad and use it as a conversation starter to help them cope better. Though kids will definitely have different hangups. I would constantly seek out sad, angsty stories because I was always more comfortable handling sadness and anger, and needed those stories to come to terms with things I dealt with day to day. But I always had a harder time with fear, and had a much lower tolerance for scary stories.

    I kind of disagree with your assessment of Frozen. Although I had my own gripes about the movie, Let It Go took place in the middle of Elsa’s character arc, and was not the culmination of the movie’s message. At that point, she was feeling lonely and crushed by the weight of her stress, and realizing that she needed to release a lot of her feelings in order to be healthy. But of course she didn’t have all the answers yet, she was only part way through the movie and still had growing to do. But the show wasn’t trying to ignore the dangers of her ice powers.

    Anna went after Elsa because she wanted her back of course, but she ALSO had to stop her from burying the land in snow. Clearly, running off to a castle and ‘letting go’ wasn’t enough to solve all of Elsa’s problems. And hurting her sister with her ice powers for a second time was a major plot point toward the end. Actually, that makes me feel more sorry for her now that I think about it. Elsa ran off to isolate herself because it felt like the only way to both gain peace AND protect Anna. But even with all that her powers still caused harm. So, for a while there, it felt like no matter what Elsa did, she couldn’t escape the prison that society and her powers put her in. Not even that happy moment of ‘letting go’ was enough. The problems kept piling up. Anna still got hurt. There was no apparent escape. So her emotions spiraled even more out of control until she finally learned to cope better.

    Let It Go is a catchy song and what most people remember, but many will just see it as a means of emotional release and venting. People CAN take it as something else, like encouragement to explore their sexuality, but that’s probably not the point. At all. And even if someone takes it that way, it probably won’t be nearly the sole factor in their decision making. If they interpret that message and find it appealing, it is probably because of what they are ALREADY feeling and thinking. Yes, maybe they should have other influences to break them out of bad decisions, but it’s not necessarily the best place to place blame, especially if that’s not even what the song is about.

    • Travis Perry says:

      I’m saying the catchiness of the song “Let it Go” and the general attitude behind it will have more impact on the intended audience of young viewers than the climax of the film. But even if that isn’t true, Elsa never really “repents” of having cast aside her parents’ restrictions. Her final status is one who has “let it go” but no longer has to do so in isolation. I.e. letting it go basically paid off.

      • We’re all basically required to ‘let it go’, it’s just a question of what we’re letting go of. You have a problem with it because you assume a lot of people will go to sexuality, which may or not be true. And you’re still labeling the song as a cause when, even if people strongly associated it with enabling their sexuality, they were probably already going to decide to enable their sexuality and then pick Let It Go as their theme song.

        It kind of reminds me of when people criticize Disney Princess movies and fairly tales for encouraging girls to be damsels in distress or something. Regardless of how harmful some people thought it was for kids to grow up with fairy tales, most people liked them as children. In spite of that, girls have become MORE independent, not less.

        It’s been a while since I’ve seen the movie, so I’m having to remember stuff as I go. But, initially, the things that stand out most to me without much effort is the let it go song and part of the scene where Elsa realizes the solution to her problems. I think she said something about love. Instead of telling herself she has to obsessively lock down every emotion and constantly fear hurting her sister, she changed her outlook, and her emotions and behaviors followed. So people probably won’t just remember Let It Go, one or two other scenes will probably stick out, too. In fact, considering how much people love the movie, they will probably watch it and think about it enough to remember quite a bit more.

        I don’t see the consequences as being focused on society, as you mentioned in your other comment. Yes, society had some consequence, but most people weren’t even aware of Elsa’s powers. I’m quite willing to have negative feelings toward society(even though I love people), but the focus was on Elsa and Anna’s character arc. The story’s solutions revolved around what THEY did and how THEY changed. Not society.

        But the ‘wrong’ Elsa committed wasn’t throwing off her parents’ restrictions. Her parents’ purpose was to keep her powers under control so she didn’t hurt people. Elsa found a way to do that that was more effective than wearing gloves. Once her parents saw that, they would have been happy for Elsa, because the gloves weren’t the point. It was their daughters’ well being.

        I agree that a clear confession and apology is often a good thing, but doing things so stereotypically in a movie can be fake or unrealistic. People don’t nearly always straight up apologize or repent, but they still realize they are wrong and regret it. I had a pretty clear example a few days ago, where someone I knew didn’t say sorry, and most people wouldn’t take his speech or behavior as an apology. But in some ways it was a very indirect one, and I realized that everyone would benefit from understanding that, so I explained what that guy was trying to do and why. And it did make things a little better.

        A lot of people won’t realize dynamics like that, but they really should. They’d hurt each other a lot less if they’d actually be willing to understand the motives behind someone’s behavior, instead of freaking out because they don’t hear specific words from someone’s mouth.

        How do you tend to process messages, though? Like, have you experienced that direct and blunt ones have been the most beneficial to you? And, like, in day to day life, are you more likely to want someone to directly tell you how they feel and what they want? I’m somewhat curious now. It wouldn’t be a bad thing in either case, of course.

  4. Fantastic. Well written and well thought through

What do you think?