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


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth through you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

The Cat's Meow (2001), PG-13
Analysis Date: April 26, 2002
CAP Score: 32
CAP Influence Density: 1.60

MinMax: -91

ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Table of Contents.

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NOTE: 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.


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

THE CAT'S MEOW (PG-13) -- What a birthday!

Distributed by: Lions Gate Films
Director(s): Peter Bogdanovich
Producer(s): Julie Baines, Ernie Barbarash, Kim Bieber, Carol Lewis, Dieter Meyer, Jason Newmark, Michael Paseornek, Wieland Schulz-Keil
Written by/Screenplay: Steven Peros
Cinematography/Camera: Bruno Delbonnel
Music: Ian Whitcomb
Film Editing: Edward G. Norris
Casting: Sarah Beardsall, Carol Lewis
Art Direction: Christian Eisele, Jan Niesler, Loukas Oikonomopoulos

The William Randolph Hurst story? I don't know. At least he survived this one. Quite a cad he was if this story is accurate. And heavily immoral. The whole affair, aboard a pleasure cruise ship owned by Hurst on a weekend in November 1924, was about Charlie Chaplin's (Eddie Izzard) affair with starlet Marion Davies (Kirsten Dunst) during Hurst's (Edward Herrmann) affair with her. In a case of mistaken identity, Hurst shot movie producer Thomas Ince (Cary Elwes), a confidante of Davies, in the head while Ince was snuggling with Davies at the bottom of a staircase. Ince was wearing Charlie Chaplin's characteristic hat that Chaplin dropped earlier. From above and behind Ince looked like Chaplin in the low lighting. The whole pleasure cruise get-together was for Ince's birthday. What a birthday!

Since time is of essence and further details would simply sharpen the teeth on the saw but not add any teeth, I am going to stop here and move into the issues that might concern the parents and grandparents of 13 year olds (and maybe yourselves). To start with, The Cat's Meow is replete with sexual presences such as immoral cohabitation for sex, exhibitionism with nudity, two women fondling a man, necking, sex requests and offers and talk, necking and intercourse [Col. 3:5]. Further concerns should be the immense use of God's name in vain: eleven times with the four letter expletive and 27 times without it.

Smoking and drinking are frequent [1Cor. 15:33], which brings up an opportunity to remind our readers of a new finding made by the American College of Physicians. I will spend a couple paragraphs on the point of implanting of aberrant behavioral templates by popular entertainment. A recent study, Relation Between Parental Restrictions on Movies and Adolescent Use of Tobacco and Alcohol revealed that adolescent exposure to drinking (and smoking) in entertainment leads to an undeniable increase in alcohol use or experimentation by the adolescents. The finding reports that of 4544 youths from grades five through eight of 15 Vermont and New Hampshire middle schools (90% were under 14 years old) only 16% were completely restricted from viewing R-rated movies (that says a great deal by itself). The report further states the prevalence of having tried smoking without parental knowledge was 35% for those with no restrictions on viewing R-rated movies, 12% for those with partial restrictions, and two percent for those with complete restrictions (17.5 times fewer than with no restrictions). The prevalence of having tried alcohol without parental knowledge was 46% for those with no restrictions, 16% for those with partial restrictions and four percent for those with complete restrictions (11.5 times fewer than with no restrictions). Rather revealing of the influences of the entertainment industry wouldn't you say?

The American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and others have proven that violence in movies can and does begat aggression in youth. The American College of Physicians have proven that viewing smoking and drinking can and does increase the use of these substances in youth. Harvard educated behavioral psychologist Dr. Karen Nelson agrees with me that any behavioral expression can be shaped by observation of behaviors in entertainment, good or bad. Doctor Larry Gilliam agrees with me that it would be unusual for even a 16 year old to be able to fully comprehend the consequences of his/her actions or to be able to fully separate fantasy from reality. God Himself warns of "bad company" influencing chosen behavior [1Cor. 15:33]. And yet we permit saturation of youth with aberrant behaviors in and as entertainment.

I still say the most corruptive influence of popular entertainment is more the portrayal of freedom from authority, freedom from accountability and freedom from consequences -- the attitude, rebellion, the stealing of childhood from children -- than specific influences such as violence, alcohol, tobacco, sex, language, etc. that lead our children by their noses into arrogant and irresponsible behavioral choices: that all behavior aberrations are spinoffs or by-products of the attitude; that the potential depth of influence of modern entertainment goes well beyond the the opinion layer, the first of three layers of personal barriers to persuasion identified by Drs. Michael and Susan Osborne of the Memphis State University, well into the values level and quite probably well into the deepest and most insulated level which is the heart of attitude, the beliefs level, the level so deep that there is little hope of completely extricating behavioral aberration drives. When are we going to listen? And speak up? Do something? All it takes for "evil" to prosper is for good people to do nothing.

Yes, The Cat's Meow is another "R-13" . It is becoming more and more clear where our children are headed - and why. Just tonight (May 10, 2002 - yes this report has been sitting on my desk for a long time, maybe for a reason) I was in a local DVD store because our two teenagers bought us a DVD player as a Mother's Day & Father's Day combo gift. And in that store I heard a boy about eight or nine years old with his four or five year old sister get excited wanting mom (with them) to rent American Pie 2 (R) - again. And filmmakers know it, hence R-13. If mom/dad "feed" such sin to their kids, the kids "eat" it without the slightest idea what it is doing to them because they trust mom/dad. And if you parents who let your underage kids watch R-rated movies for entertainment don't like me telling you Jesus has a special warning for you [Luke 17:2], don't visit our website and unsubscribe from our distribution. I do not like talking this way but He who spoke Luke 17:2 let Himself be beaten and killed then spent three days in Hell so you and I would not have to spend one moment there. We did not. I love Him and will serve Him and will NOT do the "modern thing" and slight His Word to avoid invading the comfort zone to help ensure our visitors keep coming back, of whom 99.993% use but don't help pay the costs of this free service anyway. I am uncomfortable speaking so harshly but my Lord has a special place in His Heart for His little ones (which includes at-home teens) and after caring for 24 children and adopting seven of them (plus one biological son), I am ultra-sensitive (maybe) about what He says is wrong for them. God defines what is sinful. The CAP Ministry just repeats Him. Anger at being shown in His Word though our service that a chosen behavior is a sin is a matter that needs to be taken to the Cross. I take my sins to the Cross every night. So should you.

Additional ignominy are revealed in the Findings/Scoring listing.


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. 3:5 Put to death [defeat, expunge, deprive of power, destroy the strength of], therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.

    *******Food for Thought*******
  • 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 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.

    The Cat's Meow (2001) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • recreational gunfire at seagulls
  • firearm for assault
  • attempted murder by gunfire
  • coercion and extortion to gain silence

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 15 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • calling an immoral choice a mistake
  • lie to cover up murder

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • sex talk, innuendo
  • ghosting of female anatomy through clothing, repeatedly
  • necking, repeatedly
  • sex offers, requests
  • exhibitionism with nudity
  • adultery, repeatedly with blase attitude
  • two women fondling a man
  • intercourse
  • admission of immoral sex, repeatedly
  • immoral behaviors, repeatedly
  • long-term cohabitation

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • smoking, repeatedly
  • drinking party
  • smoking dope
  • drunkenness, repeatedly

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • eleven uses of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and 27 without

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • death as the result of gunshot to the head

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    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy 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 from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.

    "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 nearly seven 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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    (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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