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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
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"
Additional ignominy are revealed in the Findings/Scoring listing.
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*******Food for Thought*******
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):
Christian Media News
Biblical based Management Consulting
|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.|