Ethos Education

Mirror Mirror: True Love

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Assembly Objective: 

  • What makes for good stable relationships? This assembly considers the Bible’s teaching that true love is costly and challenging, but also reasoned and reasonable – and far more than blind devotion.

Film:

  • Mirror Mirror (StudioCanal, 2012, certificate PG). Click here to buy the DVD online.

Bible: 

Supporting Values Education:

  • The value of Individual Liberty is essential to the educational goal of developing pupils with ‘rational autonomy’. A stable relationship between autonomous individuals will not just be based on feelings, but also careful rational thinking.

OPENING ACTIVITY

Don’t Go Changing (drama)

You will need the Don’t Go Changing Script, which should be given to the actors well in advance of the assembly.

  • Arrange for two actors (students, staff or visitors) to act out the sketch Don’t Go Changing. After the sketch, you could either move straight on to the talk, or invite comments from students about where the characters were going wrong with their ideas of what love means.

Ideal Partner (game)

  • Ask the students to help you to identify the ideal boy or girl (for a mixed school, pick one gender and ask for their ideal member of the opposite sex, and then repeat the process the other way round). Ask the students to vote on the following choices:
    • Hair colour: Blonde, brunette, or ginger.
    • Hair length: Long, short, shaven.
    • Eyes: Blue, brown, hazel, green.
    • Height: Tall, average, short.
    • Interests: Academic, sporty, musical.
    • Personality: Loud and outgoing or quiet and private.
  • After establishing the popular choice in each category, read through the attributes of the assembly’s ideal girl and/or boy, and ask people to put their hands up if they feel this describes their personal ideal. Hopefully, democracy being the art of compromise, many of the students will not feel that the majority vote reflects their own ideal choice. Draw out that when it comes to matters of the heart, we are all looking for something different. In spite of that, today’s assembly is going to help us to think more clearly about what true love looks like.

FILM CLIP

  • Play the clip from Mirror Mirror (StudioCanal, 2012, certificate PG):
    • Start time: 0.56.56 (in chapter 9 of the DVD)
    • End time: 1.00.40
    • Clip length: 3 minutes and 44 seconds
  • The clip starts with the Queen (Julia Roberts) pouring the love potion and calling for Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer) to enter. The last line is the Queen saying, ‘There are pros and cons to this.’
  • The clip shows the Queen tricking Prince Alcott into drinking a love potion. Unfortunately, the potion causes the Prince to behave like a devoted dog, rather than an in-love human.

TALK

Download the Love Mirror Mirror Talk PowerPoint for use with this presentation.

Scripted Talk

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • What makes for a perfect true love? [click] Perhaps your ideal of a true love is tall, dark and handsome, [click] or short, cute and giggly, [click] or a blue-eyed blonde. Perhaps you like the strong, silent type, or someone quick-witted and funny. Perhaps you long for a true love who will sweep you off your feet with grand, extravagant gestures of love, or just someone who never forgets your birthday and who is always sensitive to your mood at any given time. [If you used Opening Activity: Ideal Partner, refer to that here]. The chances are there’s no one perfect formula for a true love that would be perfect for everyone in this room – we’re all looking for something different, something uniquely attuned to our needs and wishes.
    • We’re going to watch a film clip where someone’s idea of a true love doesn’t go entirely to plan. The film is Mirror Mirror, and Julia Roberts’ evil Queen is trying to trick the handsome and rich Prince Alcott into marrying her. Her recipe for true love includes a devious love potion.
    • Play the clip from Mirror Mirror:
      • Start time: 0.56.56 (in chapter 9 of the DVD)
      • End time: 1.00.40
      • Clip length: 3 minutes and 44 seconds
    • The clip starts with the Queen (Julia Roberts) pouring the love potion and calling for Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer) to enter. The last line is the Queen saying, ‘There are pros and cons to this.’
    • If you are unable to play the clip, say, ‘When Alcott drinks the potion, he is instantly smitten with the Queen. However, it soon turns out that he isn’t behaving like a man in love, but like an excitable puppy. He’s utterly devoted to the Queen, but not at all in the way she was anticipating.’
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • Is that what any of us would want from our true love? Perhaps not. Dogs are great, and they can certainly make loyal and lovable companions, but from the love of our life we hope for a little more than dumb and blind devotion. [If you used the sketch Don’t Go Changing, you could add a comment about the dog-like Prince possibly being an improvement on the man in the sketch, but not by much.] What does love really look like?
  • [PowerPoint slide 3] 
    • This is what the Bible has to say about love:
    • This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16, New International Version.
    • The Bible points to Jesus as the supreme example of what love looks like. It says that we know what love is like, because he has shown us. Love involves sacrifice: Jesus laid down his life. Love wants the best for the beloved. Christians believe that the reason for Jesus’ sacrifice was that it was the only way for humanity’s biggest problem to be put right. It was what we needed, and even though it was costly for Jesus, he was willing to make it happen, out of love.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • So real love is costly and it puts other people first. Real love wants only the best for the beloved. That’s very different from the blind devotion we saw in the film clip. Prince Alcott would do anything the Queen told him to: he just wanted to please her, so she does whatever she wants. Jesus does what people need. He challenges the people he loves: he isn’t afraid to tell them things they need to hear but don’t want to hear. Sometimes, when we love someone, we have to be honest with them and say difficult things.
    • [click] And going back to our Bible passage, we are encouraged to follow Jesus’ example, to love one another sacrificially, putting ourselves out for one another. Sometimes that means putting their wishes ahead of ours, and sometimes that means risking our popularity by being honest and telling our loved ones what they need to hear, not necessarily what they want to hear.
    • Love is costly and challenging, and utterly worthwhile. It’s so much more than the blind devotion of a dog.

Headings and Bullets

Download the Love Mirror Mirror PowerPoint for use with this presentation.

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • What makes for a perfect true love?
      • [click] Tall, dark and handsome.
      • [click] Short, cute and giggly.
      • [click] Blue-eyed blonde.
      • Strong, silent type.
      • Quick-witted and funny.
      • Someone to sweep you off your feet with grand, extravagant gestures.
      • Someone sensitive who remembers things.
      • [Refer to Opening Activity: Ideal Partner if you used it]. We’re all looking for something different.
    • Introduce film clip:
      • From Mirror Mirror.
      • Julia Roberts’ Evil Queen wants Prince Alcott to marry her.
      • She prepares a love potion.
      • Play the clip.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • Is that what we want from a true love? Perhaps not.
    • Dogs are loyal, loveable companions, but we want more from the love of our life [refer to sketch ‘Don’t Go Changing’ if you used it].
    • What does love look like?
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • This is what the Bible has to say about love:
    • This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16, New International Version.
    • Jesus: the supreme example of what love looks like.
      • We know what love is like, because he has shown us.
      • Love involves sacrifice.
      • Love wants the best for the beloved.
      • Jesus’ death was the only way for humanity’s biggest problem to be put right.
      • It cost Jesus dearly, but he did it out of his love for his people.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Real love:
      • Is costly.
      • Puts other people first.
      • Wants the best for the beloved.
    • Very different to the blind devotion of the film clip.
      • Prince does whatever the Queen wants – just wants to please her.
      • Jesus gives what people need.
      • Challenging them when it’s in their best interest.
      • When we love someone, sometimes we have to be honest and say difficult things to them.
    • [click] Our Bible passage tells us to follow Jesus’ example.
      • Put ourselves out for one another.
      • Putting others wishes ahead of our own.
      • Risking popularity by being honest.
      • Telling loved ones what they need to hear, not what they want.
    • Love is costly and challenging, and utterly worthwhile. It’s so much more than the blind devotion of a dog.

RESPOND

Prayer

  • Dear God, thank you for showing us what love is through the example of your son, Jesus. Help us to love one another with a love that is sacrificial and honest, always looking to give others the best rather than looking to our own interests first. Amen.

Reflection

  • Have you ever loved anyone in a way that was costly to you? Is that kind of love worth the sacrifices? What difference would it make – to the world, to your group of friends and family – if everyone treated people in that way?

YOU WILL NEED: 

  1. Mirror Mirror (StudioCanal, 2012, certificate PG). Click here to buy the DVD online.
  2. Love Mirror Mirror Talk PowerPoint.
  3. Two actors rehearsed and ready if you are using Opening Activity: Don’t Go Changing.
  4. Don’t Go Changing script.

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