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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
(2004), PG-13 [R-13*]
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(This section may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Miramax Films, Beverly Detroit, Close Call Films, View Askew Productions
Distribution (US): Miramax Films
Director(s): Kevin Smith
Producer(s): Phil Benson, Laura Greenlee, Laura Greenlee, Scott Mosier, Kevin Smith, Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein
Written by: Kevin Smith
Cinematography/Camera: Vilmos Zsigmond
Music: James L. Venable, Robert Smith
Film Editing: Olof Källström, Scott Mosier, Kevin Smith
Casting: Diane Heery, Avy Kaufman
Production Design: Robert Holtzman
Art Direction: Elise G. Viola
Viewed on: Miramax DVD/BUena Vista Home Video
This is a special request analysis of a film the ministry could not afford to send me to last year but now that it is on video I was able to do so.
Jersey Girl is rated PG-13 on appeal due to "language and sexual content including frank dialogue." It was originally rated R. And still should be rated R. It is one of the most severe R-13 films of the more than 900 films we have analyzed. Though this analysis is almost eleven months after the film was released (we could not afford it at the theaters), this analysis is most useful for parents of kids who want to rent the video.
By the way, Kevin Smith who wrote and directed this film is also responsible for Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Chasing Amy. Though we have not analyzed Chasing Amy for what reason I cannot remember, I may do so just to provide a comparative of Smith's work. Just so you would know. And know objectively.
"PG-13 for frank dialogue" is putting it politely. I will, though doing so makes this report nearly as vulgar as the film, provide in the Findings/Scoring section the offensive dialogue I could catch just so you will have no doubts about the depth of verbal filth Kevin Smith went to in this film for young teens. A few of the lesser vulgar sexual comments are shown below. And these are Liv Taylor (Lord of the Rings) talking to Ben Affleck:
Jersey Girl is a romantic comedy about music publicist Oliver Trinke (Ben Affleck) finding the love of his life in Gertrude (Jennifer Lopez). Though both loved the city, Ollie felt it wise after a year of marriage for Gertrude to meet daddy, Bart Trinke (George Carlin) whose wife had died some years earlier and lived alone as the only one in the Borough of Highlands, New Jersey licensed to operate the street sweeper.
The meeting went well as new age morality goes. Bart told Gertrude and Ollie "Stay offa my bed." To that Gertie replied "I was only going to sleep with [Ollie] a few more times then dump him." After a few more conversational locker room caliber snippets, Gertrude hit it off well with Bart. Bart told Ollie and Gertrude he was going to go to the Clamdigger bar. To that Gertrude told Bart "I wanna go to the bar, too" acting as though Ollie was the butler.
Soon Gertrude and Ollie had a daughter they named Gertie (Raquel Castro). But Gertrude died giving birth to Gertie. Now the high-powered publicist, Ollie had to raise baby Gertie all by himself. So, Ollie moved back in with dad for some help with little Gertie.
Back in the City, the pressures of fast-paced music publicity and trying to mix it all with Gertie, giving less and less attention to Gertie. Grandpa had told Ollie that he had to get back to work and that Ollie was going to take Gertie with him to the city this time. Grandpa drove the point home about whom is to provide primary care for Gertie.
Not even yet knowing how to change a diaper since grandpa had been doing it until now, Ollie made quite a mess with the talcum powder not only on Gertie but on his nice dark suit as well ... moments before a key presentation to dozens of writers. That scene may sound like a chuckle-maker, especially for all the dads reading this, but Smith decided to use a real baby. A real nude baby. In several shots. While seeing a nude baby is an inevitable and necessary part of bringing up baby, this event was in and as entertainment. I really suspect the views could have been prepared more morally tasteful.
Covered with talcum power, some ridicule from the pushy audience of writers was the last straw that broke the camel's back. Ollie lost it and shared with all the writers some quite unpleasant opinions of them and the rages for which they write. Ollie lost not only his temper that day, he lost his job. So, back to grandpa. For seven years Ollie and Gertie lived with grandpa.
A few times each week Ollie would take Gertie to the video rental store. While Gertie rummaged through the kiddie section, Ollie would evaporate through the bamboo/bead curtain into the porn section, grab almost anything and s-l-i-d-e to the counter as clandestine as possible before Gertie arrived with her selection. Ollie had no girlfriends because of the deep love he still had for Gertrude.
Entered the picture was Liv Taylor as 25 year old Maya Harding, local video store clerk working her way through college for a Master's degree. Her thesis was about men and pornography. With her stabbing questions such as "How many times each week do you masturbate" Maya found that Ollie had been celibate for seven years and offered him a "mercy jump", much like the "---, we're gonna have to give you one for free" prostitutes in Crocodile Dundee II and with the same disregard for morality.
Arriving at grandpa's house to apologize for being so aggressive with Ollie at the video store, Maya invited Ollie out for a lunch date. After much resistance, Ollie finally agreed to meet with Maya by showing up after saying "No." It is at that lunch date when the conversation above took place. And the film went downhill sexually from there. Smith even involved Raquel in the sexually immoral programming by having her and a neighbor boy showing each other their privates, then she later asking her father whether his was bigger than the boy's. I wonder if anyone remembers me telling you all that a child viewing nudity on screen will get that child to thinking about how YOU, mom/dad, look with no clothes. Now are shown that even filmmakers know this. As I said, sexually downhill form there.
I wonder if Smith, Affleck, J. Lo and others are aware of the consequences of teaching sexually immoral matters to little ones by example. God has warned us all that these little children have angels who always behold His face. [Matt. 18:10] When little Raquel relives in her memory the sins the filmmakers placed her in, would God be smiling upon them? I wonder what Raquel's angels said to God about Smith, Affleck, etc.?
There is a generous helping of morally acceptable and heart-warming programming in Jersey Girl but it is buried under plentiful episodes of sexually immoral matters [1Cor. 6:9, Eph. 5:5], foul language [Col. 3:8] (some by a child and some before a child [Luke 17:2]) plus many other instances of impudence/hate, smoking, drinking, drug references and many uses of God's name in vain [Deut 5:11], even by a child with the father's approval [Matt 25:40].
Understanding that this is a very vulgar film, please inspect closely the listing in the Findings/Scoring section before deciding whether to watch this hardcore R-13 movie. If you don't study the list before you decide whether to allow your youths to watch this film, they will ... in larger-than-life bold demonstration and megawatts of audio power and an extremely difficult to defeat amoral attitude which will likely to some degree secretly slip into your child's mind and heart. [Jude 4]
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.
(The heart of the CAP Analysis Model)
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Sexual Immorality (S)
Offense to God (O)
|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: |
Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.
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