Internet porn is to heroin, apparently. Or so we're led to believe by the producers of the unintentionally hilarious Lifetime Move: "Cyber Seduction: His Secret Life." Sadly I missed this gem when it came out in '05, but thanks to Inky's itchy trigger finger during timeouts in Monday Night Football, I've seen enough of it now to know that it is fucking genius.
Like any Lifetime movie, Cyber Seduction is a drastic oversimplification of an issue, presented at its base level, and in trite fashion. They take a simple real life issue and spin if forward, and out of control, to it's least logical and most remote possibility, all while painting it as an everyday tale. In this case they take 16 year old Justin from zero to sixty in about two flips of his wrist, and stomp all over logic and common sense with each stroke, so to speak.
The young, All American boy is just happy living his life with his cute little girl friend and his spot on the swim team. That is, until he's shown some porn. What follows is a precipitous downfall that would have even made Dante say "Come on!" After getting a few hits of gateway porn, Justin ramps it up quick. He's starts downloading S&M pics from the net, and burns a DVD copy of Virgin Vaginas, which his mom later finds. As he continues spiral out of control, he starts downloading porn onto his girlfriends PDA. Once the kids at school find out about Justin's predilections they castigate him as some sort of unimaginable pervert, as shown in this clip from the movie (it's long, but you only need to see the first minute or so):
I got the impression while watching this that the writers were approached to write a script about the dangers of kids view porn, and decided to just take an old After School Special about drug use and swap out the subject matter. I kept seeing Ben Affleck in that TV movie he did about steroids, what with all the over acting and hackneyed family interactions. Justin's story comes to its absurd end after he gets the shit kicked out of him by the guys in the above video, ostensibly for refusing to have sex with the school whore, who lured him in through her own porn site. When he turns her down, she is dejected (one would assume at her failure to get back at mommy and daddy for something, since she wanted to do it in their bed) and she slams her own head into the sink, and blames it on Justin.
I know, right? It was ridiculous to just type that, let along call action on a set and watch people that you're paying act it out. Of course, my problems with this movie are many, and diverse. The idea that a kid could go from looking at a few up skirt shots on the web to hardcore S&M freak, without any other underlying causes such as abuse, all within the span of his junior year of high school is preposterous. Which says nothing of the fact that all the cool boys at school put him down for looking at naked women. The capper is the scene where the husband and wife (played by Kelly Lynch of Roadhouse Fame!)are laying in bed, and she asks him if he ever fantasises. "You are my fantasy" he says, going on to say that he doesn't have to look at photos of other women naked, let alone think about if from time to time. All he needs is Dr. Liz Clay from Jasper Missouri. Hilarious!
This movie is basically the 21st century version of telling kids that if they tug on it they'll go blind or get hair on their palms. It loses all credibility when it trys to portray masturbation as some sort of deviant sickness and that in doing it, a young person is in the minority. The truth is that nothing has really changed from then to now in young people's hormones. What has changed is the access they have to filthy porn. In my day, you were lucky to get a Playboy or a Penthouse that someone swiped from their old man. A hustler was an absolute goldmine. Absent of these scores, you were stuck tossing off to the unmentionables section of the Sears catalogue or a Victoria's Secret circular. Hell, I'm convinced that 97.5% off all jungle fever stems from young men who jacked it to the naked pictures of tribeswomen in National Geographic back in the day.
As with everything else, today's kids just have it easier then we did, or our parents did before us. All the luscious porn they could ever desire is right at their fingertips, if you will. And whereas the movie would have you believe that the only way a person can see porn on the web is to lay out huge amounts of cash, that couldn't be further from the truth. I say: whack away kids, just don't charge up mom and dad's credit cards!