Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore in “Laws of Attraction”
by Chris Monroe, Staff Writer, Christian Spotlight on Entertainment
In light of the all negativity we see from Hollywood about marital fidelity, it is encouraging to discover that at least some in the industry want to exhort couples to be committed to the sacredness of marriage. Unlike the atmosphere of a harsh divorce court, discussing the movie “Laws of Attraction” with the director and actors in Los Angeles was a real pleasure. Interestingly, although the film is a lighthearted romantic comedy, those interviewed (Peter Hewitt, Julianne Moore, Frances Fisher and Pierce Brosnan) were quite reflective about some of the serious issues the film addresses.
Director Peter Hewitt was candid about his initial thoughts on the screenplay. Not having written the script, Hewitt found some aspects he wanted to rework in the screenplay, specifically involving Pierce Brosnan’s character, Daniel Rafferty. His first impression of Daniel was that he had no moral fiber. Hewitt decided to develop Daniel by giving him a moral philosophy, which he intended to be fully realized by the end of the film. The philosophy is that Daniel is ultimately the one who believes that marriage is something you fight for. It really is the most sublime force in the story.
This idea of “fighting” for marriage was incorporated in “Laws of Attraction” based on Hewitt’s observations of what generally happens in divorce courts. Hewitt feels that people tap into aspects of themselves—ferociousness and hate and willingness to fight—which they didn’t know they had in them. So in this script, Hewitt decided to put a spin on the idea of a “fight” and make it something positive. He confesses, he’s not on a crusade or anything, but Hewitt believes that a lot of marriages would be saved if people used this energy and passion while they’re married, in order to help save it, instead of waiting to use it when they plan to get a divorce.
Hewitt, 47, disclosed that he recently married for the first time, two years ago. He maintains that he will never get divorced, because it’s important to him to be married. He says he will always fight for his marriage. He waited a long time for marriage, and knows that it is something that he wants—and must keep. This desire for permanency is incorporated into the film, as Julianne Moore’s character, Audrey Woods, is first reluctant to commit to a relationship, but ultimately discovers that it’s what she really wants.
During our interviews, there was a recurring discussion about marriage commitment, as Director Hewitt explained,
“I think the world we live in is a less secure world, and we all feel a bit more frightened. I think we may be feeling.maybe deep in our subconscious, we are trying to steady the boat by not being so frivolous and being more solid. When we make a commitment; stick with your commitment. Show some solidity. And hopefully that will bring some solidity to the world. I don’t know if we think those actual words, but in my case, I feel it is very important to stay solid in marriage. And if things go wrong, you can’t just run away.”
Lead actress Julianne Moore emphasized that you can’t really be intimate with someone until you promise to be there and be present to work through things. She adds, “I think that’s an important thing to hear in a movie.” For her, Audrey was a character who was waiting for her personal life to happen, but it never did. Then Daniel came into her life and told her, essentially, that a meaningful relationship is not just going to happen on its own; she must choose it.
“You have to choose it and work at it. And just because something goes wrong doesn’t mean it’s the end; it’s just the beginning of something.”
To illustrate this, Moore used an example from the movie where Daniel tells Audrey that he’s going to be there for her, and he wants her to be there, too, “I like that. I think it’s very positive; very truthful,” she said.
Moore perceives that people are now returning to the idea of marriage as a choice. For her parents (who first met in church when they were twelve), the norm was to get married, have children and get on with life. Then that changed. The trend has been for people to focus more on developing themselves, find out who they are, etc. Now, she says that people have drifted away from that and decided that marriage is something that they want. They are choosing marriage, because they want to have a balanced life and don’t want to neglect it.
Now in her early forties, Moore explained that she also just recently got married.
“But that’s where I was in my life. I wanted to make sure that this is what I want now. I want to be married. I want my children, etc. I want that. And rather than (marriage) being affectation, it’s now a choice.”
Also referring to previous generations, actress Frances Fisher (“Titanic”) discussed what she hopes will happen as a result of this movie.
“I think the target audience is young women.So hopefully it’ll touch a nerve in some women out there to say “It’s not too late to have it all. Don’t get caught when you’re in your forties forgetting to have children and forgetting to allow yourself to fall in love.” It’s a coming of age (story) for young women.”
“…Today.we (women) have to be more like guys in our attack in the work place. Sometimes it’s hard to take that “armor” off and come home and be the vulnerable, receptive female that is more probably in a woman’s nature to begin with… It’s a more complex world we’re living in today, than it was in our parent’s generation. The roles are less defined.”
Fisher believes that what makes “Laws of Attraction” great and fun is that Audrey is working and “jousting” with a man she absolutely adores. Unfortunately, she doesn’t allow herself to feel that.
“It’s a great analogy to what I think is going on with young women today. ‘How can you have it all? How can you be vulnerable and receptive when you’ve got to be out there everyday fighting and battling?’”
Fisher revealed more about her views on marriage and fidelity…
“A lot of times—way back when—there were arranged marriages. It was all about kings and queens, getting the kids, having the property and all that.but now it’s come full circle… In our last generation, you married for love, and if there happened to be property, great.but with women’s liberation, marriage was not important anymore because women had it all.I think more importantly, it’s the idea of commitment; and whether it takes the form of marriage or is just a commitment to say, ‘I’m going to stay with you.’ ‘I’m your woman,’ and ‘I’m your man.’ I think that’s lacking in this society—people who are really willing to commit and go the distance. People get divorced so quickly if it doesn’t work out. It’s about commitment.”
Capping off the emphasis of commitment in marriage, lead actor Pierce Brosnan shared his views on marriage vows.
“I think it is such a powerful ceremony.it’s such a powerful commitment in the eyes of God, especially when you do it in the traditional way in the sight of your friends and family.It does elevate you to another level of love and sharing and respect for each other.”
Brosnan, who lost his first wife to cancer, explained,
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“I’ve been lucky in my life to have love and marriage twice. In both occasions, the ceremony was deeply profound and indelible in my mind.”
“Marriage seems to be a dying trade, which is sad. People turn to divorce now very easily, very readily. And that is a frightening way to look at the future of humankind, because we need to be committed to each other, on a man-to-woman basis, so we can create families of love and strong communities.and it takes work.”
It was encouraging to hear these affirmations of marital commitment. Although “Laws of Attraction” has a few elements that we, as Christians, do not support (as you will see in our review), we applaud the cast and director’s desire to express a very pro-marriage message. Committing to each other in marriage is a strong principle that the film does portray.