The hype machine for that drecky novel and movie, The DaVinci Code, is rather appalling: I simply don’t see what the appeal is in a poorly written and unbelievable conspiracy theory about Jesus, and the protestations from Catholics are accomplishing nothing other than to fuel further interest in a very silly story. All I can imagine is that it’s feeding the same hunger for religious fables that drove the sales of those ghastly Left Behind books. Anyway, the only good thing I’ve seen emerge from the schlockfest yet is Ian McKellen and his comments on the Today show, written up in US magazine.
“I’ve often thought the Bible should have a disclaimer at the front saying ‘This is fiction.'” McKellen responded. “I mean walking on water? I mean, it takes an act of faith.”
That’s cutting to the heart of the issue. The Catholic church has no grounds for complaining about a badly written, ridiculously improbable, mass-market driven work of popular fiction…unless it’s because they see it as in competition with their similarly atrocious foundation document.
The comments over there are rather interesting, too. US magazine is a bit closer to the popular zeitgeist than something like Pharyngula, so the comments are a better peep into what the general public is thinking than comment threads here, and while there are a few people there who express dismay and act as if they’ve never imagined anyone could say something so shocking, they’re very much in the minority. Most of them are cheering Ian on!
I may have to change my mind about seeing this movie, as dreadful as the reviews are. Michael Medved thinks poor box office for this movie will demonstrate the depth of Christian sympathy in the US.
One of the things you see with this movie, Tucker, as I have been writing about this for 20 years literally, that Hollywood keeps attacking religion again and again and again. Films that have anti-religious themes and particularly anti-Catholic themes and they never make a dime. They tend to do very, very badly at the box office.
Now this film has a guaranteed box office return because of the tremendous success of the novel. But the idea that, by refusing to soften some of the anti-Christian, some of the–what people would consider to be heretical themes in the movie, that they could have, by softening it, I think ensured a much greater financial indication.
Rather, people who have no interest in the religious issues judge the book and movie on its merits, and aren’t inclined to waste time on it.