Essay Misunderstanding Relationships in Boogie Nights

Essay Misunderstanding Relationships in Boogie Nights

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The film Boogie Nights provides an interesting case study of the unique nature of human relationships, specifically love and friendship. It presents a crisscrossing mash-up of various combinations of traditional love categories: friendly (plutonic or nonsexual) love, family love, lust, master/servant or apprentice/teacher love, etc. Besides being entertaining, Boogie Nights presents these combinations to provoke an insight on our part into the nature of love. This insight is exemplified in Jack’s notion of the ideal pornographic film. His ideal film also serves to echo the same flaws found in Plato’s ideal forms. Boogie Nights attempts to demonstrate the false nature of a definite, meaningful love by disrupting its categorization and presenting the absurdity of its definition. Jack’s movie cannot exist by definition, and as a product of natural language neither can the common conception of love.
The primary relationship in Boogie Nights is that between Eddie, Jack, and Amber. Though he lacks a positive family background, Eddie Adams can be seen as a participant in the bond of familial love with Jack and Amber playing the roles of father and mother. Amber is tender and nurturing toward Eddie, and she is seen in several scenes offering him comfort and motherly affection. Conversely, Jack is a strong figure directing Eddie and mentoring him. He cares for Eddie, but he is also tough with him. He is more than willing to throw him out to teach him a life lesson, though ultimately his fatherly nature allows him to forgive Eddie. This kind of interpersonal dynamic stands in stark contrast to the more immediate and physical nature of their relationships. Amber has sex with Eddie, something the love of a mother should, by definition, prec...


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...theory of Forms and focus on his own life. From there, he could work on establishing real universal truths instead of doing little more than wasting his time.
I think ultimately the question of defining love is a useful question for spurring a discussion of values, but the question itself is invalid. I believe I have adequately demonstrated that love is not something that can be generally defined. Though this may seem depressing to some, everyone should take heart in the fact that we all have interesting values that we can both strive to satisfy and discuss with one another. It seems like it is arguably better that love is individual in nature, because you are not restricted by social convention or the fictitious definition of love. You can love whomever or whatever you’d like and strictly speaking you would never be wrong (though it might not be entirely legal).

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