The Naked Truth

In case you didn’t know, Anne Hathaway gets naked in her new movie, “Love and Other Drugs.”

I pass this information along because you may not have noticed she and co-star Jake Jake Gyllenhaal in the buff on the cover of Entertainment Weekly or read her interview with ABC News about filming nude scenes for the movie or caught the seemingly endless stream of naked jokes during the introduction of her hosting gig on Saturday Night Live this weekend. Oh, yeah, and there’s also a clip of her dropping her overcoat to reveal she has nothing on underneath in the TV spots that are currently running for the movie.

Amazing how the media has chosen to blow this tiny aspect of the movie out of proportion, isn’t it?

Oh, puh-leaze.

If you’re thinking the press, marketing executives, entertainment scribes, and comedy sketch writers are unnecessarily focusing on a tiny aspect of what’s supposed to be a pretty good movie, I’ve got a wealthy Nigerian prince in need of someone to hold on to some cash for him that I’d like to forward you the e-mail address of. Let’s face the facts here, folks: This movie is being marketed to dudes (and even some dude-ettes) who want to see Anne Hathaway with her clothes off.

Am I the only man in American who’s kind of creeped out by this?

For the record, I think Anne Hathaway is a very attractive woman. I was going to say I also find her to be an extremely talented actress, but then I realized I had only seen one of her movies (“Get Smart”). Well, I guess you could say I’ve two of her movies, but since she only provided the voice of Red in “Hoodwinked!” I don’t really count that as seeing her in a movie. I have enjoyed her hosting stints on SNL, though, which is more than I can say about a lot of performers.

All that being said, however, I’m pretty sure I was never meant to see her in her birthday suit.

I’ll be the first to admit, sometimes feminism confuses the heck out of me. In the same breath, the virtues of a woman’s body being her own precious and private possession can be preached and the willingness of a woman to use her freedom to expose that same body to the whole world can be applauded. That creep that filmed ESPN reporter Erin Andrews through a peephole last year not only was vilified by the entire country (and possibly the whole world), but also went to jail. How does my dropping 10 bucks at the local theater to get a glimpse of Anne Hathaway’s naughty parts make me that much different from that guy?

I’m trying really hard here to avoid the whole “This nation is going to hell in a hand basket!” approach, but, seriously, look at what passes for some of our “entertainment” these days. I remember after that tragic shooting at the Amish school in Pennsylvania back in 2006 columnist Cal Thomas wrote an excellent piece that outlined how television these days had become a virtual murderer’s paradise, with shows like “CSI” and “Bones” providing necrophiliacs hours of endless enjoyment. And in the November 20 issue of “World” magazine, columnist Andree Seu lamented in a column titled “Real Life” how a particular critic of the movie “Secretariat” lamented that Diane Lane’s portrayal of horse owner Penny Chenery was “utterly nonsexual.”

“You know that the collective culture has spun 360 degrees,” Seu writes, “when we are complaining about a character not writhing and contorting her body.”

And while I would rather an actress as seemingly talented as Hathaway wouldn’t have to resort to making movies that require her to be nude, the thing that bothers me isn’t so much that she made the movie but rather the way it’s being promoted. As I started out by saying here, most of the pre-movie hype has been about the nudity. It’s a stunning double standard to me. We run politicians out of office for cheating on their spouses, but we try and sell a movie on the premise that everyone (including married folks, I might add) wants to see some celebrity skin.

Am I being a prude here? I don’t think so. I’ve seen far too many men get wrecked by pornography, and, like it or not, that’s pretty much what this line of advertising is. We’re walking a very line here. If I said I wanted to go see Anne Hathaway get naked in her new movie, I’d probably get high-fives from a lot of guys. If I said I wished I could see that attractive lady down the street with no clothes on, they’d probably either want to kick my butt in her honor or go for their cell phones to call the local police.

Or maybe not. Maybe we’re so far gone that I really am the only person this bothers. I’m going to choose to think I’m not, though. Surely there are others out there thinking the same thing.

Right?

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