Daily Archives: July 31, 2010

Evidence of Natural Law from Hollywood

Originally published 9/3/07.

The Weather Man, with Nicholas Cage, is a very secular and very crude film about the dreariness of modern secularist family life. T. S. Eliot might have liked it. It’s about “Dave Spritz” (Cage), a local forecaster trying to get a gig on a national morning show.

There’s a scene in the film where the character Robert Spritzel, played by Michael Caine (hardly a representative of Natural Law theory himself), responds to his son Dave’s divorce plans.

Dave Spritz: We both just think it’s better for the kids.
Robert Spritzel: David, sacrifice is… to get anything of value, you have to sacrifice.
Dave Spritz: I know that dad, but
I think that if we continue down this road, it’s gonna be too detrimental for
the kids. It’s just too hard.
Robert Spritzel: Do you know that the harder thing to do and the right thing to do are usually the same thing? Nothing that has meaning is easy. “Easy” doesn’t enter into grown-up life. (thanks to IMDB).

There you have it: the Natural Law in a nutshell. First, the character speaking has no discernable religious beliefs, and is hardly a Catholic. He is presented as a Pulitzer-prize winning writer and voice of reason and genteel morality. Thus, he illustrates that Natural Law is derived from reason and not dependent upon Catholicism.

Next, the statement itself, which is not only a principle of Natural Law, but arguably a summation of both Natural Law *and* heroic virtue.

Later in the film, an unnamed speaker describes the character of Robert Spritzel as embodying “forbearance, charity, wisdom.”