While it might seem strange to say that a dystopian young adult novel about children killing each other for the entertainment of an indulgent privileged class is about love, as the trilogy unfolds love emerges as the theme holding the narrative together.
The filmmakers chose to shoot the Games in a natural environment. Surprisingly, this only increases the horror of the televised bloodbath. There's something about the forest that's just creepier than anything we can make with our hands.
If we allow the story of The Hunger Games to do what it should -- that is, if it provokes us to ask hard questions and demand change -- then it is a valuable cultural artifact, despite its central concept.
Having just read the first two Hunger Games books at the prodding of my teenage daughter on our spring break vacation, I'm now thinking this seems a much more apt comparison for what the 2012 Republican primary has now devolved into.