Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Purple Heart, haha?

I recently saw the movie Wedding Crashers. Really funny movie. As usual, Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn are hilarious. But in the movie, there's a joke about Purple Hearts that I felt was inappropriate. The basic gist of the joke is that if you wear a fake Purple Heart, you will get free drinks at any wedding bar. First, let me say that the joke fell flat in the theater. Almost no one laughed, but it wasn't real noticable because right after that there was a very funny line about balloons or something. Also, the overall theme of the movie was not anti-military or anything like that; it's just stupid Vince Vaughn comedy. So why include this joke?

If the joke was not bad enough, there is New Line Cinema's website. On the movie's website, they include a printable Purple Heart and say that some "really brave dudes had to fight to get this award. You get one for free." Why does anyone think this is remotely appropriate?

The answer, to me, seems to be yet another example in support of the fact that the majority of Hollywood is out of touch with the rest of America in general, and the military in particular. Most people in America (I hope) understand somewhat, at least, what the Purple Heart stands for. It is more than just some "really brave dudes fighting." The Purple Heart is given to those who have shed blood for their country. Everything I have read has stated that even among highly decorated soldiers, two awards stand out from among the rest: the Combat Infantryman Badge, and the Purple Heart. The history of the Purple Heart stretches all the way back to General Washington and the Revolutionary War. And now it is the butt of a joke.

Granted, I understand that this is a comedy movie, and makes fun of pretty much everything and everyone, but this is different. This film has Jewish stereotypes, fine. Irish stereotypes, fine. If the film had had military stereotypes ("Rambo"), fine. But don't make fun of something that is damn near sacred to any member of the military fraternity. Don't mock something that honors those, and only those, who have shed blood for our country.

Update: New Line Cinema pulled the paper Purple Heart from its website.

H/T: PatriotVoices via Mudville Gazette's Dawn Patrol