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Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(2007), PG-13 ["Very Lite" R-13*] (1hr 35min)
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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Gold Circle Films
Distribution (US): Universal Pictures
Director(s): Michael Lehmann
Producer(s): Paul Brooks, Michael Flynn, Jessie Nelson, Scott Niemeyer, Jonathan Shore, Norm Waitt
Written by: Karen Leigh Hopkins, Jessie Nelson
Cinematography/Camera: Julio Macat
Music: David Kitay
Film Editing: Paul Seydor, Troy Takaki
Casting: Eyde Belasco
Art Direction: Christopher Tandon
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
While Because I Said So earned a "'Very Lite' R-13" final score (53 out of 100), with a zero score in both the Sexual Immorality and Offense to God, one might take heed to the unique features of the CAP analysis model. Yes, the overall value or magnitude of this film is a lite R-13, it is fully equivalent to many R-rated film in both of those investigation areas. Thus, this film should be given all the berth an MPAA R-rated film is given since watching it will expose the viewer to R-equivalent material in those two investigation areas.
Culinary expert Milly (Mandy Moore) has had a string of trouble finding "Mr. Right." After a dutiful period of swearing off men altogether, Milly happens across two really good candidates. Is Johnny (Gabriel Macht) the right one or is Jason (Tom Everett Scott)? Jason is an architect, is financially secure and a social delight but a little superficial and arrogant. Johnny is just a guitar player but is making a modest living though living with his father and young son. Jason makes Milly laugh but Johnny makes her happy? What's a girl to do?
How do you suppose Milly all of a sudden happens across two seemingly perfect candidates? All I will say is that Mom, er, Daphne (Diane Keaton) arranges for her to encounter good candidates ... by her own standards. Because she said so. And why not? Milly's sisters: Maggie Mae (Piper Perabo) and (Lauren Graham) are happily married. A "good candidate" (Stephen Collins) is thrust upon single Daphne in the process.
With all this cinematic energy spent on modern romance and match-making one might expect a little hanky-panky in the mix as well. One's expectations are met. Enough so to drain the Sexual Immorality (S) investigation area score to zero out of 100 points. Contempt for God's Word about abuse of His name is also enough to drain the Offense to God (O) investigation area score to zero. More in the individual investigation area discussions below.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
At last! A Hollywood product with no violence. This investigation area found nothing at all and the film;m earned a score of 100 out of 100 in terms of violence content. Unless you see a different cut than I saw (which is sometimes the case), you will see no violence in Because I Said So. [Rom. 12:18]
What is even more astonishing is that this PG-13 film contains only three uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary which is most atypical of PG-13 films. Even though there are only three, each one is still a sin. [Eph. 4:29] Though there are only three uses of profanity, because of the presentation of punk [Isa. 13:11, Rev. 22:14-15, Mal. 4:1], a "I wish I was dead" comment [James 1:12], lies [Rev. 21:8] and disrespect of elders [1 Peter 5:5] this investigation area score was reduced by almost a third of its starting 100 points.
Sexual Immorality (S)
Here is where the content gets thick. While Because I Said So is atypical of a PG-13 regarding profanity, it is typical for [PG-13]-year old children to be saturated with issues of sexually oriented demonstrations in PG-13 films. Such demonstrations in Because I Said So include noisy intercourse though only bouncing feet are seen, men and women in bed nude (nudity unseen) making out, vulgar talk about anatomy and body functions, a dog humping a hassock after viewing porn on a website, lots of sex talk, a lesbian kiss by two elderly women and other demonstrations of similar caliber. [Mark 7:21, Gal. 5:19 - 21, Rom. 1:26]
While there is no drunkenness, illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs noted, drinking is of an obvious presence. And that can be a problem for our young (which includes at-home teens). In the interest of informing as many parents, grandparents, pastors etc. as possible, I offer our standard cut-n-paste regarding drinking in and as entertainment for youth.
A study by the American College of Physicians (ACP) revealed that adolescent exposure to drinking and smoking in entertainment leads to an undeniable increase in alcohol abuse among underage kids. The finding entitled Relation Between Parental Restrictions on Movies and Adolescent Use of Tobacco and Alcohol reports that of 4544 youths from grades 5 through 8 of fifteen Vermont and New Hampshire middle schools (90% were under fourteen years old) only 16% were completely restricted from viewing R-rated movies.
The researchers selected R-rated movies because they claimed R-rated movies typically present more drinking than movies of other classifications. This assumption is no longer true. The researchers were not aware of the matter of R-13 proven not only by this ministry but Harvard University School of Public Health scientists (though Harvard's finding was made a full four years after ours). Regardless of the MPAA classification, the focus is the influence of adolescent exposure to drinking (and smoking) in and as entertainment.
Within the ACP study population, the prevalence of having tried alcohol without parental knowledge was
Rather revealing of the influences of the entertainment industry wouldn't you say? And emboldening children to sin with drink in and as entertainment screams of violating Luke 17:2. If alcoholic beverages in entertainment were not a problem for our young, why is there and why has there been such a push to get and keep booze commercials off prime time broadcast TV? Even the University of Connecticut corroborates the ACP finding. [Eph. 5:18]
I can add to this study that claims R-rated films contribute to underage substance abuse. I submit that it is not so much the presence of alcohol and tobacco in R-rated films that embolden youth to abuse substances, but is rather the attitude typically portrayed heavily in R-rated movies and even more severely in many PG-13 movies. Our report on this, ATTITUDE: In Perspective -- Investigation Area Scoring and Trend in CAP Entertainment Industry Investigations, Special Report-001 may provide more understanding of the point.
Offense to God (O)
The use of God's name in vain (both with and without the four letter expletive) is flippant, as if His name was no more than a three-letter suffix. If you spent three days in Hell so we would not have to spend one moment there, would you want us to have such contempt for your wishes? [Deut 5:11] In addition, adultery [Mark 7:21] is demonstrated and a comment of giving thanks to God for immoral sex is heard. [Ezek. 16:58]
No instances of murder or suicide were noted.
If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. 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.
***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
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.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Sexual Immorality (S)
Offense to God (O)
Christian Educators Association International
|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.|
|In the name of Jesus: |
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Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.
ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture
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