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


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones (which includes at-home teens) through you, their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

(2003), R
With Special Comparative
Analysis Date: August 1, 2003
CAP Score: 40 out of 100
CAP Influence Density: 4.45

MinMax: -100

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ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Site Map (Table of Contents). Further, if you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.

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If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

(2003), R -- The American dregs of entertainment.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Universal Pictures, Zide-Perry Productions, Liveplanet
Distribution (US): Universal Pictures
Director(s): Jesse Dylan
Producer(s): Chris Bender, Louis G. Friedman, Adam Herz, Chris Moore, Craig Perry, Josh Shader, Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz, Warren Zide
Written by/Screenplay: Adam Herz
Cinematography/Camera: Lloyd Ahern II
Music: Christophe Beck
Film Editing: Stuart H. Pappé
Casting: Lisa Beach
Production Design: Clayton Hartley
Art Direction: Gregory A. Weimerskirch
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6

WARNING! This is a descriptive of a very vulgar movie. At times, the descriptive may be uncomfortable even though we use polite nomenclature.

Jim Levenstein (Jason Biggs) and Michelle Flaherty (Alyson Hannigan) have been an item for quite some time and Jim feels it is time to pop the question ... American style. At least the way the writers want us to think of the American style. I pray there will be no "American Wedding Night" or "American Baby" or "American Family" or "American Children" or "American ?"

Among Jim's best pal's are Paul Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) and Steve Stifler (Seann William Scott). Finch is the sophisticated and refined of the trio. Stifler is the foul-mouthed rude dude. And rude dude he is. Most of the 55 uses of the most foul of the foul words and the 62 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary [Col. 3:8] and nearly all the vulgar comments, insults and innuendo [Eph. 5:4] come from Stifler ... until Stifler becomes Finch and Finch becomes Stifler. The 19 uses of God's name in vain both with and without the four letter expletive were presented by several [Deut. 5:11].

Enters Cadence Flaherty (January Jones), a seemingly delightful and proper young lady, younger sister to Michelle and the reason Stifler became Finch and Finch became Stifler. Both Finch and Stifler set their sights on Cadence. Stifler thinks Cadence is a refined lady and steps out of character to match what he thinks Cadence wants in a man. Finch thinks she wants a man who lives a little more on the edge and counterfeits himself to match what he thinks she wants. After a deluge of offers of sex and requests for sex, both ploys work [1 Thess. 4:2 - 5]. To a point.

One of the subplots is Michelle wants a special wedding dress that can be found only in Chicago if it is to be had in time for the wedding. Jim, Finch and Stifler head to Chicago, 3 hours one way, to find the dress maker. Upon arrival at the dress shop, the boys find the dress maker is out bar hopping. So, out to bar hop go the boys. The first one we enter is with the Stifler and is a gay bar. And in that gay bar are gay behaviors, including same-gender kissing and dancing. But after some challenging of Stifler by Butch Queen (Willam Belli) in dance-off, the boys are accepted and the dressmaker is revealed. [Rom. 1:16 - 32; 1 Cor. 6:9 - 10.]

American Wedding is immoral sex, drinking, vulgar language and mannerisms. While its final score of 40 is typical of modern R-rated features, the range of Influence Density (ID) figures for R-rated movies in the CAP comparative baseline database was approximately 0.7 to approximately 2.2, the higher the figure the more severe the density of moral and ethical assaults (for more information, see CAP Methodology. American Wedding earned a well-deserved ID of 4.45! American Pie earned a final score of 41 with an ID of 2.27. American Pie 2 earned a final score of 40 just like American Wedding but an ID of 4.16. The American dregs of entertainment. And the throngs like them! [Ps. 12:8] A sign of the times, I guess. [2 Tim. 3:1 - 7]. As a convenience, below is the sign of the times (a comparison of the three American ... movies). At least they are obviously consistent in their focus ... on sin. NOTE: You may need ot resize your window a little wider to accommodate the image below:

I will not discuss that which is obvious in the display above. As a parent, grandparent or pastor, you can clearly see for yourself what our youth are getting. Yes, our youth. There were more youth than adults in the audience which is completely predictable since more than half the moviegoers in America are non-adults (Loews Theaters pre-show trivia) and since more than half of all movies made are rated R (our finding, Where's the G?). You do the math.

On a side note, while it is clear that many if not most of the viewers of American Wedding were non-adults, what makes such entertainment okay for adults? Is there some magic age at which sin in and as entertainment becomes no longer sinful. (I know I am going to hear a lot about that comment). I have yet to find any Scriptures that tells me that there are behaviors which are sinful for children but are not sinful for adults as well. Note that "legal" is not part of the question. Besides, since when has "moral" ever been considered when legality is determined?

Since John Wayne, the world has gotten an impression of America and has expressed it by emulating characters in American movies. Even movies portray this emulation. In Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles two oriental men confuse Dundee with Clint Eastwood because of Dundee's cop-like antics and revel over helping "Clint Istwood" subdue the bad guy. No doubt other populations, especially their youth, will emulate American Wedding attitudes and the movie makers will be responsible [Luke 17:2]. Maybe not legally responsible since a movie is not in a legal sense a "product", but morally responsible. Remember, as a padlock is only a signal to an honest man and won't even slow down a dishonest man, the R rating is no more than a signal to the integrity of the moviegoer. Evidence that the R rating is no more than a signal was the toddlers and young adolescents in the audience -- with their parents, at least with mom -- when I observed the movie. I wonder what Child Protective Services would do if I showed still pictures of some of the scenes in American Wedding such as the S&M women to little children of the same ages as those in the audience? Well!? It's just art isn't it? I wonder what CPS would do if I even showed stills of the same scenes the little ones saw in the movie to the same little ones? I'll bet I hear a lot about this paragraph, too. If you are riled by it and plan to send us more flaming hate mail, please consider again Luke 17:2. Regarding my snide comment "It's just art isn't it?", art is not sin and sin is not art. Art becomes sin when art uses sin.

I'll not spend any more time on this Summary/Commentary. If you want to know why I still conduct analyses of R-rated movies, see our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), item number 5

Please, at least read the listing in the Findings/Scoring section if you are contemplating going to see American Wedding. Finally, I realize I have included a lot of His Word as it applies to the behaviors noted in American Wedding, but these are dangerous times and a "full load" rather than just a few bales may be needed.

SPECIAL NOTE: We will be reducing the volume of coverage in the Summary/Commentary section of our reports and the number of reports generated in an effort to reduce costs until full funding can be achieved. The Findings/Scoring section of each report, the heart of the analysis model, will NOT be reduced in any way.

Thank you for your patience as we diligently search for funding. Anyone who wishes to volunteer to help us locate 501(c)(3) nonprofit funding and sponsors is encouraged to notify me.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.

  • Col. 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
  • Eph. 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
  • Deut. 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain [shav' {shawv}: emptiness, nothingness, vanity]: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. [With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or thoughtful discussion is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name.]
  • 1 Thess. 4:2 - 5 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification [that you should be sanctified], that ye should abstain from fornication [not participate in sexual immorality]: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel [control his body; be master of it not slave to it] in sanctification and honour [... of God's Will] ; Not in the lust of concupiscence [not in passionate lust like the heathen], even as the Gentiles which know not God:
  • Rom. 1:16 - 32 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (17) For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (18) For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; (19) Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. (20) For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: (21) Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (22) Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, (23) And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. (24) Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: (25) Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. (26) For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: (27) And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. (28) And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; (29) Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, (30) Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, (31) Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: (32) Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death [spiritual death, .i.e., eternity in Hell, not mortal death], not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
  • 1 Cor. 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
  • 2 Tim. 3:1 - 7 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. [I offer the NIV translation just for added perspective} 2 Tim. 3:1 - 7 (NIV) But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God - having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it]. [I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change [warp, distort, falsely represent, situationally redefine, counterfeit, conditionally apply] the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.


    American Wedding (2003) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • none noted

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • 62 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • 55 uses of the most foul of the foul words
  • a girl dumping her boyfriend because he would not have sex with her
  • pretense
  • lies building lies to cover up behaviors
  • other lies, repeatedly
  • eating dog manure
  • rejection because of not being Jewish
  • insults because of homosexuality

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • sexual background song
  • offer of more sex to spice up boy-girl relationship
  • oral sex under restaurant table with her hidden but him very animated
  • sexual innuendo, comments, insults, rudeness, talk, name-calling, repeatedly, many very vulgar
  • rear and side male nudity, repeatedly
  • imagery of covered erection
  • suggestive eye movements
  • dog licking a man's privates, long contact
  • a dog hugging a man's leg
  • chant of vulgar insult by high school students
  • crotch hit
  • homosexual kissing, twice
  • much gay/lesbian/transgender/bisexual presence and comments
  • transvestism
  • inappropriate touch, repeatedly
  • gay bar
  • pelvic thrusts, repeatedly
  • vulgar gay comment
  • adults in underwear
  • peeping, repeatedly
  • vulgar gestures, many
  • exhibitionism
  • female upper nudity, repeatedly
  • offer of oral sex
  • sadomasochism presence
  • rear male nudity by bare-bottom outfit, repeatedly
  • excessive cleavage and breast exposure
  • sex games, repeatedly
  • shaving male privates in several postures, some with rear male nudity
  • planning sexual immorality
  • multiple offers of and requests for sexual favors
  • gay man hitting on straight man
  • vulgar use of references to female exudates
  • intercourse with a grandmother by a young man, motions seen but no genitals
  • oral sex in a bathtub

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • bar, repeatedly

    Offense to God (O)
  • 19 uses of God's name in vain, two with the four letter expletive and 17 without

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • none noted

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    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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