Lesson In Infidelity

I’ve been trying to enhance my Portuguese vocabulary by watching Brazilian films. There’s been an odd trend in the movies I’ve selected. Most of the story lines have involved a guy cheating on his woman. All comedies.

What is so hilarious about infidelity? And what I find even odder is that they guy is always forgiven my his wife/girlfriend in the end.

This must be a cultural thing, right? You’d be hard pressed to find an American movie in which the character arch of the “cheater” doesn’t end in total misery. Not judging, just observing.

I’m thinking I’ll move on to dramas. Although, I have a feeling I’m going to run into the same theme.

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12 Responses to Lesson In Infidelity

  1. Danielle says:

    This trend annoys the ;A#(&% out of me. Don’t get me started. It’s the oppressive male-dominated culture brainwashing young women, the Catholic majority trying to discourage women from the sinful act of divorce (as to discouraging men from the sinful act of cheating). You get it in the novelas, too. It’s a machismo conspiracy!!!!!!!

  2. Something similar really bugs me, and it happened a lot this week. I went to every school in Buritis, almost every class grades 5 to 12 (or however they number them- Middle School-High School) and without fail, in each class, the topic of my appearance came up, usually the students were telling me I was beautiful. Now, that’s a compliment in general, but one that I find hollow. What if I were disfigured from a car accident? Had a cleft palate repaired in adulthood? Had extreme acne? Had one leg shorter than the other? Never had the money to get myself braces? I think some of it has to do with race, as well. Blonde, white, blue eyed triggering some kind of ‘That’s what beauty is’ response.

    Why is it OK to focus so much on appearance/beauty? How about those 3 college degrees? How about how much Portuguese I’ve learned in 5 months? How about my opinions on Buritis? Rondonia? The Rainforest? Brazilian students? Dilma?

    Everyone wants to feel valued + attractive, of course. But I think this is the fall out from an oppressive patriarchy, as well. The message is: “Don’t forget! What really matters is how you look!”

    Thanks for the post. I needed that.

    • I agree with you totally. I hope some day, as humans, we can evolve past this importance we put on physical appearance and reach a higher level. But I think that’s not going to happen during my lifetime. It is similar in the U.S. My nephew came home from his first week of first grade and he mostly talked about how pretty his blonde, blue-eyed teacher was. I, myself a totally white blue-eyed child, dreamed of looking like Cher.

  3. Jana says:

    Ugh, this bothers me so much. I do think with the younger generations its evolving slowly, at least with the few Brazilian girls I know. But as long as they keep it in the movies and novelas, it will continue to be a source of power for the male dominators to be forgiven. Gross!

    • It’s like smoking, right? We all learned that smoking was not a good idea, but it wasn’t until they started pulling it off television and out of movies, where we witnessed our idols performing the act, that the nonsmoking concept started to stick. If I am correct, smoking in a movie now constitutes an “R” rating. Maybe infidelity should be an “R” ratings as well in Brazil.

  4. nina says:

    OR how a Brazilian counterpoint cheats and then the husband kills her, leaves her or something just awful. It’s like a warning to women cheat or pay.

    I mean, yes here has some extremes but let’s get real it’s all over. Guys in the US normally talk about how hot a girl is, not how smart she is. Even the guys who try to act like they’re not like that. They still are, no guy says I am gonna marry someone ugly. And my husband was so attracted to me for those very reasons, green eyes and blonde hair.
    And a guy cheats in the US because a woman does something wrong, god it was even on Oprah! But a girl cheats and she’s a slut.

    • You have a point. However, at least the American society as a whole discourages infidelity, even to the extreme that it allows the behavior to taint other aspects of the person – think Bill Clinton. It’s got to be our Puritan background.

  5. chapulina says:

    That’s an interesting observation. I had never stopped to think about it. Do you remember the names of any of these films? Or were they novelas perhaps? I’d like to check them out…

    You know, in Brasil if a guy is going out with many girls this is seen as a good thing and even his family won’t judge him so much, but if a girl does the same she’s a whore and it’s shameful. But then again, isn’t this how it goes in Western culture in general?

    About infidelity in comedies, I think that’s found on American sitcoms as well, no? Ross cheated on Rachel (when they were on a break!) and they ended up together… It’s true that it took a while though hehe… That’s why I’m asking which movies you are talking about, maybe the context is completely different?

    • I’ll definitely dig up the titles for you at my local DVD place after the holidays. Not to say it’s better, but in the U.S. most will not condone a guy going out with more than one girl (think the show “Cheaters” where the entire outline was to catch someone on camera cheating). Even on Friends, Ross constantly suffered through a few seasons for his mistake – and let’s face it… they were on a break!

      But cultures are different and I get it. America was laced with beliefs carried over from its British legacy and the Europeans and Latins look at things differently. Look what happened to Bill Clinton (and I think that was just wrong, I was a Bill lover – not literally of course).

    • Thanks for your comments!

  6. Pingback: Brazilian Challenge Day 86: Estreia da Novela | born again brazilian

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