Friday, January 21, 2011

Priceless (Hors de Prix) -- sex and security

Director: Pierre Salvadori, 2006. (R)

Priceless is a French rom-com with an emphasis on the "French." Stylish and filled with sleek and snappy scenes on the south of France, it is saturated with sex and immoral themes that convey almost little of biblical truth. A superficial fun fling, it offers an opportunity to reflect on the truth of relationships by contrasting with the film's message.

Audrey Toutou (Amelie) stars as Irene, a beautiful gold-digger. She accompanies older men, sleeping with them in serial relationships, spending their money like water, until they catch on to her gig. Love's absence underscores lust's attraction and greed's allure.

Priceless - Gad Elmaleh as Jean and Audrey Tautou as Irene in Pierre Salvadori's PRICELESS
But when she slips out of her room for a late night drink she meets Jean (Gad Elmaleh), a barman at the hotel, who she mistakes for a wealthy, young playboy. Here is her new meal ticket. The setup has potential, but the payoff is ethically poor.

When her current old beau gives her the boot, she hooks up with Jean in the Royal Suite for the night. But the truth comes out and after she has burned through all his money, leaving the poor boy broke and jobless, she leaves him in an instant. A year later their paths cross unexpectedly. This time he has a lover of his own, an older woman, Madeleine (Marie-Christine Adam). He is her toy-boy, a kept man, as Irene is a kept woman. Their feelings for each other cannot overcome their desires for the money found in their "sugar parents."

The relationship for each is founded on deceit. Neither will tell the older person that love is absent and that they are sleeping with someone else. To do so would be to risk breaking the relationship. But where truth is absent, trust is missing, too. And such a relationship is too fragile to last. Lies imprison, leaving us claustrophobic and needing air. Only the truth can set us free (Jn. 8:32).

Priceless - Audrey Tautou as Irene in Pierre Salvadori's PRICELESS.Irene was in it for sex and money. The sex was secondary to the security. She was prostituting herself in a sense, selling her body to an older man. Some would argue she was more of a courtesan, since there was a relationship that lasted more than the hour or two that a whore gives. The older man, and woman, probably realized the superficiality of the relationship but wanted sex and companionship. And they were willing to take the risk of rejection when someone else younger and richer came along. The commitment to stay was predicated on the level of monetary security. Here is a purchased loyalty apart from love.

The Bible paints a completely different picture of relationships. God designed man to live in relationship with woman and gave them the gift of sex (Gen. 1:28). But he warned that this was to be enjoyed in the boundaries of marriage (Heb. 13:4). Sex before marriage is fornication. Sex outside of marriage is adultery. God has strong words against these (Ex. 20:14, Eph. 5:3). Sex inside marriage is endorsed and encouraged.

The purpose of keeping sex inside the marriage bed is to nurture a lasting commitment between husband and wife. Marriage offers security to both. Irene's solution to security proves temporary and false. God's solution is permanent.

Priceless - Audrey Tautou as Irene and Gad Elmaleh as Jean in Pierre Salvadori's PRICELESSTrue security, though, can only come from God himself. Even the best spouse will, at some point, disappoint and hurt the other. That is inevitable. God, though, offers eternal and unconditional love and security that can fill the emptiness of our soul. We may have little money, we may be involuntarily celibate, but in Jesus we can find comfort for our soul, a security that money or sex can never buy. Salvation is a gift to be received (Eph. 2:8), not a wage to be earned or a present to be purchased (Acts 8:18). Where are you looking for your security? Is it in money? Is it in someone else who is not even your spouse? Is it in your spouse? If it is not in Jesus, it is simply sinking sand. He waits for you (Rev. 3:20). He wants to be your security. Choose carefully today (2 Cor. 6:2).

Copyright ©2011, Martin Baggs

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