"Chasing Liberty" - Movie Review
- Thursday, January 08, 2004
“Our eyes locked. We connected for like 30 seconds. You can’t let a moment like that pass!” says one of Anna’s fellow travelers, illustrating the film’s premise. This lonely young man has devoted his life to pasting stickers of the Bionic Man around the world and persuading others to do so as well. That way, he explains, people will know we are all connected when they see them. Pretty sad, huh? But, after Anna and Ben’s inevitable breakup, she does look up and see one of those stickers. Soon after, the pair is reunited.
It’s a small exchange (and a silly symbol), but one that preaches the message that we are, essentially, alone in this world – without hope or meaning – until we connect with other humans. The view is not without merit, but believers know that in order to have successful relationships, we must first “connect” with our Creator, who teaches us how to love others. We simply cannot do it on our own.
“I don’t want to think! I want to live!” Anna says, telling us that the two are mutually exclusive. And in her case, maybe they are. After all, she couldn’t be using her head when she gets drunk, slips off her clothes and skinny dips – in public. And she can’t be thinking “long term romance” when she strips and begs Ben to make love to her on their second night together. I guess it’s just “living” when the couple “falls in love” after only three days, then has sex.
The most troublesome message in "Chasing Liberty," however, isn’t Anna’s behavior or language, as disappointing as they are – or even the Berlin Love Parade, portrayed in all of its orgiastic decadence. It’s Anna’s speech about truth.
“Telling the truth isn’t always good,” she says to Ben. “And lying isn’t always bad. Good things can come from lying.” The film spends 120 minutes hammering this message, with a plot (including Anna’s love for Ben) that is founded upon lies. Just think: if they hadn’t all been lying, the couple would never have met – and they are ‘destined’ to be together. Thank goodness for lies!
Even from an artistic standpoint, the film isn’t very good. It suffers from sitcom sexual innuendos at every turn, including small ones, like a bar named the Marquis de Sade, to big ones, like the secret agents who engage in funny but often sexual bantering. The only thing missing was the canned laughter. Stilted dialogue, improbable situations, cheesy caricatures and crashing cymbals (when they kiss) had me rolling my eyes again and again.
If you still have doubts about Moore’s Christianity after seeing "Chasing Liberty," you might be convinced with her next film, "Saved," coming out in March. In it, she plays “the perfect Christian girl” who uses her personal relationship with Jesus to take advantage of everyone.
Meanwhile, don’t go chasing this one to the box office.
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