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Bringing Down the House (2003), PG-13
Analysis Date: February 22, 2003
CAP Score: 34
CAP Influence Density: 1.75
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Cast/Crew Details Courtesy imdb.com
Production: Bungalow 78 Productions, Hyde Park Entertainment, Kushner-Locke Company
Distribution: Buena Vista Pictures, Touchstone Pictures
Director(s): Adam Shankman
Producer(s): Ashok Amritraj, Jane Bartelme, Cookie Carosella, David Hoberman, Queen Latifah, Todd Lieberman
Written by/Screenplay: Jason Filardi
Cinematography/Camera: Julio Macat
Music: Lalo Schifrin
Film Editing: Gerald B. Greenberg
Casting: Victoria Thomas
Production Design: Linda DeScenna
Art Direction: James Nedza
Viewed At: AMC - Hulen, Fort Worth, Texas
Lawyer Peter Sanderson (Steve Martin) is a lonely divorcee. He is looking for some company in his empty social life. Peter starts up a relationship by email with Charlene (Queen Latifah), whom Peter believes to be a white blond woman of social refine who seems to be quite knowledgeable in legal matters. What a find! Speaking of finds, Peter even finds what he believes to be her attorney-looking picture on the Internet in a news item. Eventually they agree to meet and Peter is ready to fill his emptiness with companionship and compassion.
Charlene arrives at Peter's door one evening as he preps himself for a session of wooing and cooing to find that Charlene is not the woman he thought she was. He thought she was the blond woman of some importance in the foreground of the news photo when Charlene was the one in the background being arrested and handcuffed. Charlene tells Peter she is not guilty of the crime for which she was arrested and for which she did time in prison. Indeed, Charlene wants Peter to expunge her record of all guilt.
Not believing Charlene, Peter does his best to be rid of Charlene and Charlene does her best to convince Peter he must take her case. Much of the comedy hijinks happen in the battles between Peter and Charlene as she relentlessly coerces him to take her case. She is in and out of his house. Dozens of her friends and acquaintances are in and out of his house. And all the time, the sister of Peter's boss, Mrs. Kline (Betty White) is watching from across the street, reporting to his boss what she sees. Along for the ride, sexually, is Peter's co-worker Howie Rosenthal (Eugene Levy) who frequently makes sexual innuendo comments about Charlene, trying to convince her he is her man, hitting on her every time they are together.
Charlene claims she has been framed as a convenience store armed robbery. After doing time for the crime she claims she did not do, her focus was to use Peter to expunge her record of the crime and clear her name. But the store video says she is lying.
Since Bringing Down the House has just been available once as a sneak preview, I will not offer much detail about the plot and storyline as I typically do. But I will tell you, mom/dad, what you came to know.
While there is a little clean comedy in the movie, most of the comedy is sexual and toilet humor. This is another R-13. Hardcore R-13. It presents episodes of humor such as Latifah mounting the crotch of Martin (both clothed) and bouncing him silly to teach him how to be sexually aggressive for his wife. Martin deposits fruit in his pants to boast of sexual power [Eph. 5:4]. Sexual innuendo and sex talk is rampant. Latifah encourages Peter's young son who has a reading disability to read using a porn magazine [Luke 17:2]. Latifah in her high-slit skirt and another woman in a translucent near-thong bathing suit fight and modesty is not a concern. When Latifah hangs the other woman up on a hook atop a door, the woman might as well have been wearing nothing from the waste down. Dance and other motions to emulate sexual intercourse were frequent. Martin grabs and holds Latifah's breasts at her request. [Rev. 22:15] And these are but a few of the sexual ignominies in Bringing Down the House.
There is also teen arrogance toward and disregard of parental authority by Peter's teen daughter sneaking out at night [Exod. 20:12] to go to a teen drinking party [Matt. 25:40, Col. 3:6]. The writers make no consequences appear the proper way to address the girl's defiance [Eccl. 8:11]. An elderly lady is given illegal drugs to consume to make her a better, more rounded and likable person. The elderly lady's pet dog is seen with dildos in its mouth.
There are a lot more moral and ethical assaults in Bringing Down the House. Please read the listing in the Findings/Scoring section before considering whether to let your teens watch this movie and before you consider watching it yourself. It is a perfect example of violation of Ps. 12:8 and Jude 4.
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***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):
Offense to God (O)(2):
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|NOTE: While the Summary/Commentary section of these reports is precisely that -- a summary in commentary format which can be and sometimes is subjective, the actual CAP Analysis Model (the Findings/Scoring section) makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse, for manufacture of justification for, or camouflaging of ignominious content or aberrant behavior or imagery with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme/plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example of behavior or thought from the sinful display or of the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. We make no attempt to quantify the "artistic" or "entertainment" value of a movie -- whether a movie has any positive value or "entertainment" value is up to mom/dad. The CAP analysis model is the only known set of tools available to parents and grandparents which give *them* the control they need, bypassing the opinion-based assessment of movies by others and defeating the deceit of those who would say anything to convince their parents otherwise. The model is completely objective to His Word. Our investigation standards are founded in the teachings and expectations of Jesus Christ. If a sinful behavior is portrayed, it is called sinful whether Hollywood tries to make it otherwise. That the sinful behavior is "justified" by some manufactured conditions does not soften nor erase the price of sin. Whether there is application of fantasy "justification" or "redemption" is up to mom/dad.|
|"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.|