Yesterday I decided to watch Pleasantville. In case you haven’t seen the movie, or watched it so long ago that you don’t really remember it, let me quickly fill you in…
David is a devoted fan of a TV show, set in the 50’s, called Pleasantville (much like me, and my obsession with FRIENDS) and through a bizarre encounter with a TV repair man, him and his sister Jennifer, get sucked in to the black and white, simplistic world of the family show. Jennifer sets about jolting the characters with doses of reality, that in turn bring colour into their ‘drab existence’.
Show me any film set in the 40’s and 50’s and i’ll absolutely adore it, or at least the way in which that era is portrayed! I love the sweetness of it, the dresses, the suburbs with the gorgeous houses and picked white fences. The cars! the MUSIC!! I love that they say ‘swell’ and ‘neat’, and that the women are so feminine and well put together.
It’s what i found attractive about Pleasantville. People seem so happy and content. Wives are domestic goddesses and husbands are hard workers. Couples hold hands and drink milkshakes. Everyone is nice. Everyone is sweet and innocent. It seems so … perfect.
That is, of course, until Jennifer comes along. Jennifer teaches her mother, about sex. She blows bubbles with her gum, introduces ‘cool’ as a new slang word. Jennifer asks the most important question: “What’s outside of Pleasantville?”
You see, until Jennifer and David enter their world, the people of Pleasantville don’t know that they’re in black and white. They don’t know how they came to be, what else there is ‘out there’ or even what it’s like to experience emotion, since no one has ever been angry before… no one has ever been truly happy before either. They’re characters, given their lives and their meaning and their purpose and their personality by writers. They don’t have questions because they’re not created to think. They’re just created to exist, with no expression, no colour, no personality… no truth.
Much like we would be, had God not given us free will.
Pleasantville was exactly that … Pleasant. But God doesn’t want our lives to be ‘pleasant’, He had a much bigger plan for us. A plan that included wild experiences, colour and passion! A plan that could take us anywhere in the world! A plan that spoke to our whole being! A plan that included music that could speak to the deepest parts of our souls. Poems that could set our hearts on fire. Art that could bring us to tears … He gave us LIFE. Not mere existence.
Because God loves us so, He gives us the will to choose, and He gives us choices. However, we can’t have it all… not on this earth anyway… We take the good with the bad, and some people, for different reasons, will choose bad. Love, though, would not be true, if there was no space for us to choose it.
Love Jo x
Ps: If you, or someone you know battles with the idea of free will or good vs bad, and how it all fits in under the sovereignty of God, I would highly recommend watching a few videos by Ravi Zacharias, like this one: