Erin Brockovich

Entertainment Value

Rating: B

Good movie, but rather predictable (just like a lot of legal thrillers). It is a true story, so it's not like they could change it up or embellish it too much. There was no fancy lawyer battle in the courtroom. I'm not sure why it was Rated-R, it was plenty similar to John Grisham stories and could have been targeted to a broader audience without any excessive language or sexual content.

Moral Value - Failure to Communicate?

Rating: 2

The film comes off with a somewhat good message - that hard work pays off. But are we really supposed to applaud Erin for leaving her family for so long in the care of someone else? Sure people leave their kids at day cares plenty of times, but this made it seem as if she were virtually never home. She treated her boyfriend like a nanny, and yet at the end he was grinning ear to ear because of seeing the work he actually helped assist with. Her family should have been made top priority (very similar situation to Freedom Writers, where the teacher ends up getting a divorce because she spends more time with students than at home with her husband).

Is it ever appropriate to sacrifice your family (not just a day here or there, but large chunks of the day, months at a time, perhaps years) in order to achieve a sense of self accomplishment that they feel they need in the work force? I'm not just pinning this on women who work, though I do think men and women have separate but equal roles in this life for a reason. Men, being the traditional breadwinners, have an extremely important role in the family and in being at home with the family. A balance has to exist that allows the husband/father to provide for the family and also lead the family alongside his wife.

So even though negative/immoral actions can create an overall good, moral theme for a movie (by appropriately showing the consequences of doing evil), I think Erin Brockavich misses that boat and shows that it is OK for women to leave their families to achieve satisfaction in the professional world, at the expense of the family.

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