A Real Man (My Top Ten Movies: No. 7)

Think of what a real man is portrayed as in today’s culture.

You might come up with someone who smokes and drinks, curses like a witch (get it?), chases – and catches – women, drives the loudest cars, spends time in their “man-cave” watching football or playing video games (the more violent, the manlier, right?).

At least, that’s how our culture wants us to believe that is what a man is.

Now, let me preface that I don’t have it all figured out, and I’m not claiming to be a man’s man. I’ve got a long way to go.

The Fast and the Furious movies (I think they’re trying to compete with that cartoon dinosaur franchise) and James Bond and Seth Rogen comedies seem to perpetuate the image men are supposed to be (or admire).

Russell_Crowe_in_Cinderella_Man_Wallpaper_3_1280Ron Howard, one of the best directors (and producers) in Hollywood today preaches a different message in his astounding movie, Cinderella Man. This movie bleeds manhood in its truest form. Aside from the fact that James Braddock – the “Cinderella Man” – could beat anyone in the boxing ring, he far out-mans any of those aforementioned “role models” above.

Cinderella Man, staring Russell Crow, is about a depression-area has-been boxer who is propelled by poverty to take his place back in the ring not for fame and fortune, but to save his family from starvation.

While men were leaving their families left and right because of the crushing economy, James Braddock stuck by his wife and kids, even going so far as to discipline his son for stealing a loaf of bread, when he technically had every reason to.

I consider myself fortunate to know two real-life Jim Braddocks. They are devout Christian men, not much older than me, one has five kids, the other four, they support their stay-at-home wives, and are both working on their doctorates. I’m convinced waaaaay beyond a shadow of a doubt that if we were faced with another depression, neither of them would flee from their families. And everyone who knows them would say the same thing.

They would find a way to fight.

And that’s what a real man does, doesn’t he? I mean, that’s what we want to do, isn’t it? We may not ever brawl in a bar, or join some fight club, or get to attack a mugger or terrorist, as most of us guys dream about. But sometimes the real fighting begins at home – by going there, and being there.

I have to constantly fight my introversion and self-centerdness and be present with my wife. I fail at this fight often. But it’s a fight, nonetheless. I have to fight laziness and not pass up opportunities to find more work. I have to fight my misguided ideas of being “macho” and not curse in front of my wife. (It’s weird how I think cursing in front of her will show her that I’m more manly, when I know it only makes her more upset.)

I’m not about to drop some cliche line about how Jesus is the real man’s man, and He is the perfect example of how to act like a man by being a servant and sacrificial and God-honoring. And there are plenty of books about godly  men who lived before us.

I don’t know if James Braddock was a Christian, but his actions and the way he lived his life, at least according to what Ron Howard has shown us, gives us a pretty clear picture of how we can, today, live like a real man. A one-woman, passionate, dedicated, man.

It may not be as fun as chasing girls, getting drunk, and watching porn (which really is just acting like little a little boy who’s excited that he’s “of age”). But being a real man – at least that’s respectable and honorable.

So women, if you feel like your man has some improvements to make in his life, declare a family night, or date night, and rent this boxing movie for your husband, which is better than Rocky. It’s PG-13 for boxing violence, but I would be extremely comfortable showing it to our young kids. But without a doubt, every man must watch this movie.


About Andrew Toy
I'm in the beginning stages of starting my own publishing company that's unlike anything you've ever heard of in the industry. The direction of AdoptingJames is taking a 90-degree turn and will be more writing/publishing-focused. Stay tuned for huge updates and exciting news!

7 Responses to A Real Man (My Top Ten Movies: No. 7)

  1. MissTiffany says:

    Sounds like a perfect date night movie – plus my boyfriend loves Russel Crowe, so that’s even more perfect. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Shandra says:

    This post is fabulous . Transparent, honest, insightful. Thanks. Aging myself here…seeing the Cinderella Man when it came out in Theatres was at a pivotal turning point in my own life. It is indeed a well done, heartwarmimg movie about an imperfect man choosing to fight for, and do whatever it takes to keep his family together. Happy Fathers Day! To you and yours, Shandra

  3. frasersherman says:

    Sports movies are enough of a turn-off for me I doubt I’ll catch it. But yes, male stereotypes in the media are frequently annoying.

  4. jennymiller62 says:

    Sounds like a good movie to see. And by the way, I’d rather date someone like the person you described in Cinderella Man than James Bond any day. Good post, well written.

  5. Pingback: The Greatest Action Movie Ever (My Top 10 Movies No. 4) | adoptingjames

  6. Pingback: My Top 10 Favorite Movies No. 3 | adoptingjames

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