ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)



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American Beauty (1999), (R)
CAP Score: 36
CAP Influence Density: 2.60
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*American Beauty* (R) -- Rose? Not likely.

While the central mother in this movie doted over her rose garden, the main thing in *American Beauty* about roses was the rose petals hiding female private parts -- and the petal passed during a kiss from a teen girl to a married man. This movie was guided imagery into distortion of proper and acceptable. A great deal of teen sexual activity, sexual talk, and sexuality painted this movie as unfit. And Thora Birch, one of the two actresses in the movie who permitted the world to see their femine attributes is reported to be only 17 years old! Since the threshold of acceptability of gratuitous nudity content has now sleezed into the lives of 13-year old kids and even younger (ref: Titanic - PG-13, The Fifth Element - PG-13, others), why not let younger and younger girls bare themselves onscreen? Maybe in another few years 16 year old girls will be permitted to participate in this enlightened and progressive freedom? In a few more years, 15, 14, 13.......? (if the Bride is not collected before then).

Note that there were a few "lead-in" portrayals of homosexuality as well: they did nothing for the script, plot, or even the choreography. They were just there, obviously as a token to push homosexuality as normal and acceptable. The only mentions of homosexuality being wrong were presented, of course, by a U. S. Marine Colonel with "redneck" mentality. The violence committed by the Colonel against a man the he thought was his son's homosexual partner did not need the preparatory presentation of homosexual neighbors. I cannot understand how the secular reviewers lauded over this movie. I wonder if they are parents? Grandparents?

I'll not watch this movie again. I'll not watch the teen stripping for video taping and to seduce a married man, and sensual dancing with self-touching to sexually arouse the married man. I'll not watch again the father hitting his teen son with his fist several times, the teen son dealing in drugs, and the smoking of dope by a teen. Nor will I watch again the family bitterness and arguing, the teen arrogance against parental authority, or the parents speaking to the teens with the same hate in their voice and words. And as usual, the most foul of the foul words worked its way into the script along with the three/four letter word vocabulary.

I hope to not sit through trash like this again. I will not describe it any further. The description is already bordering "vulgar" itself. Let the numbers and listing speak for this analysis. For the best representation of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie, visit the Findings/Scoring section from Full Report below.

FINDINGS / SCORING: American Beauty (1999) CAP Thermometers

NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below are likely.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • blackmail
  • family bitterness with some violence
  • mother slapping daughter in the face
  • father beating son with his fist repeatedly
  • recreational gunfire
  • firearm for control
  • repetition of the sound of gunfire from murder
  • family violence

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 20 uses of the most foul of the foul words
  • 25 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • planning father's murder
  • family and marital bitterness (throughout)
  • teen arrogance against parent (throughout)
  • slapping self during fit of anger in desperation
  • stalking and peeping
  • father requiring periodic drug testing of teen son
  • lies to manipulate and to deflect/deny accountability
  • teen two-facedness (different 'face' in parents' presence than when not)
  • encouragement to lie for personal gain
  • video taping a dead bird "because it's beautiful"
  • teaching bitterness
  • "I already do hate my dad. He's a total ----"
  • vulgar hate talk about parent
  • "Well, I guess I'm not a very nice girl am !?" with arrogance and pride
  • hate talk to and from parents/teens
  • lies to enable drug dealing
  • distortion of truth to create a hateful situation
  • teens planning to run away
  • teen staring and smiling at murder gore

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • teen in underwear
  • adult masturbation in shower with nudity and talk about it
  • homosexual presence
  • Internet nudity
  • adult in underwear
  • teen sexually teasing married man
  • sensual dance by teen for a married man
  • self-touching to entice a married man
  • peodphilial desires - adult to teen
  • attempts to gain sex with a teen by a married man (throughout)
  • sexual innuendo, comments, insults, and references to human sexual anatomy
  • man in bed with a woman
  • masked nudity, full upper female nudity, full male rear nudity, and nudity with only rose petals hiding private parts
  • teen girl strip tease dance to arouse married man
  • vulgar sex conversations between teen girls
  • teen girl in towel only
  • admission of and pride in immoral (teen) sexual relationships and use of sex to manipulate
  • adult male masturbation (from rear)
  • discussion of masturbation after the fact
  • sexual intercourse with motions and sounds and major skin exposure in adultery
  • aftermath of sexual intercourse - man and woman in bed partially covered
  • teen girl stripping in front of bedroom window for taping by teen boy neighbor
  • teen girl in a teen boy's bedroom, her in underwear in his bed and him nude standing
  • homosexual kiss
  • inappropriate touch - married man with teen girl
  • married man necking with a teen girl
  • teen girl using upper nudity to seduce a married man
  • teen boy and girl in bed together
  • teen girl in bathtub with water covered with rose petals and married man reaching under the petals

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • booze
  • drinking
  • drunkenness
  • teen serving booze at a party
  • teen smoking dope alone and with an adult (the married man)
  • drug dealing by a teen
  • illegal possession of drugs
  • giving booze to a teen
  • teen drinking

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • God's name in vain 16 times, once with the four letter expletive

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • graphic murder by gunshot to the head

  • (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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    Thomas A. Carder
    ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

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