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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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(2009), PG [PG*] (1hr 25min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
November 23, 2011
November 23, 2011

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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2008), PG [PG*] ... is a touching late-in-life love story with outstanding performances

Production (US): Overture Street Films, North Sea Films, Parts and Labor, Sterling Productions, White Buffalo Entertainment
Distribution (US): Monterey Media
Director(s): Nicholas Fackler
Producer(s): Martin Landau, Dana Altman, Walter T. Falls III, Danny Garcia, Lars Knudsen, James Lawler, Ian McGloin, Jamie Mai, Virgil Price, Jack Turner, Jay Van Hoy, Charlie Ledley, Antonio Ortega, Leslie Zigel, Emery Sheer
Written by: Nicholas Fackler, Tim Kasher
Cinematography/Camera: Sean Kirby
Music: Mike Mogis, Nathaniel Walcott
Film Editing: Douglas Crise
Casting: Eyde Belasco
Production Design: Stephen Altman
Art Direction: Will Eastin
Viewed on Monterey Media Home DVD

On the 700 block of Overture Street, lonely Cedar Heights Shop and Save grocery store worker Robert Malone (Marin Landau) ponders the coming Christmas five days away. Will he be alone? Again? Probably. The opening scenes show Robert wrapping a Christmas gift to himself. The only gift that would be under his Christmas tree. We later learn what was in that package.

After discussing a lame-brained attempt to boost store sales with store manager Mike (Adam Scott, Sean O'Connell as young Mike), Robert turns down a ride home and walks the cold and snowy trek home.

When Robert returns home he finds the front door standing wide open. A short investigation reveals Mary (Ellen Burstyn) standing in his house alone. Mary is a woman who, with her daughter Alex (Elizabeth Banks, Randi Shane Knox as young Alex), spied Robert at the store and liked what she saw. After a short session of Robert throwing GET OUTs at Mary she invites Robert on a dinner date. After muddling through stuttering and stammering Robert agrees to a 6:00 PM dinner the next day with this stranger named Mary. As it turns out Mary and her daughter Alex are the ones moving in across the street and Mary noticed Robert's car crashed into the garage door and was checking on him to see if he was okay. Nice lady.

Robert spends every moment planning what he is going to do to make Mary happy on their date. He asks everyone; Mike, co-workers, even the mail carrier for some tips to make that happen. The only problem? Alex is resistive of her mother going out on a date.

Beyond that I will not try to summarize the story because it is a rather abstract with a significant amount of speculation left to the viewer and I am not a movie critic. It can be seen as Robert suffering dementia and mentally constructing an alternate life with his wife, Mary and children Mike and Alex. But there are other elements that can muddle or confuse that cinematic path. Lovely Still is a touching late-in-life love story with outstanding performances by Academy Award¨ winners Marin Landau and Ellen Burstyn and the masterful pen of writer and director Nicholas Fackler with assistance from Tim Kasher and the performances of the supportive cast.

This film is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and contains all the earmarks of "PG." There is even a firearm intended for suicide. SPOLIER: That was Robert's gift to himself. Please inspect closely the listing of findings in the Findings section and the discussion of them in the individual content investigation area discussions below


Following are brief discussions of the content per individual content investigation area. As always the Findings section of this report, the heart of the CAP Analysis Model, is the best source for discovering the full accounting of the content of this film.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 84 out of 100
There is no physical violence in this film but violence comes in more forms than just physical. Matters that qualify for being of the violent nature include home invasion, display of a firearm intended to be used for suicide, intense separation anxiety resulting in animated reactions and the portrayal of dementia.

Impudence/Hate (I) - 53 out of 100
Seven times someone utters some form of profanity. [Col. 3:8, Eph. 4:29] The profanity plus two lies and verbal assault with accusations form the total of the content applicable to this investigation area. Just because there are only two lies does not excuse either of them. God is stern about lying. One such warning about lying is found in Revelation 21:8. Another is found in Exodus 20:16 and that is one of the Ten Commandments!

Sexual Immorality (S) - 84 out of 100
Twice a man (Robert) is noted taking a shower - one does not typically take a shower unless one is nude, which is the image typically conjured when someone is taking a shower. And twice Robert and Mary (though actually married) are seen sleeping together in cohabitation. The optics at the cinematic moments are that they are sleeping together not married. Even if they were, Landau and Burstyn are not.

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 65 out of 100
Though the scenes of the bar, the alcoholic beverages and the drinking are each in a social gathering setting, the demonstration of booze and drinking in and as entertainment can be dangerous for the young viewer, so sayeth the American College of Physicians (ACP).

A 2002 study by the ACP revealed that adolescent exposure to drinking in and as entertainment undeniably leads to abuse of alcohol among underage viewers. 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% of the youths were under fourteen years old) only 16% were completely restricted in their entertainment diets. Within the ACP study population, the prevalence of having tried alcohol without parental knowledge was

  • 46% for those with no viewing restrictions
  • 16% for those with partial viewing restrictions
  • four percent for those with complete viewing restrictions. [Eph. 5:18]

    Offense to God (O) - 49 out of 100
    God's name is abused several times though each is without the four letter expletive. [Deut. 5:11] But there is more anti-Christian to this movie. For years Hollywood has kept Christ out of their cinematic Christmases. There is no Christ in this cinematic Christmas either, not even a nativity or the Cross. The closest the movie gets to the Reason for the Season is the sidewalk caroling of O' Holy Night.

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
    While Robert is noted as contemplating suicide, only the portrayal of completed suicides (and murders) are incorporated into this content investigation area (neither are deaths by police action, war or defensive killings). Attempted suicides and murders (and deaths by police action, war or defensive killings) are incorporated into the Wanton violence/Crime content investigation area.



    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.


  • Col. 3:8 But now ye also put off [rid yourself of] all these; anger, wrath, malice [kakia: ill-will, desire to injure, wickedness, depravity, evil, trouble, not ashamed to break laws, etc.], blasphemy [blasphemia: impious and reproachful speech injurious to divine majesty], filthy communication [aischrologia:foul speaking, low and obscene speech] out of your mouth.
  • Eph. 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
  • Rev. 21:8 But the [unforgiven] fearful [deilos {di-los'}; timid, cowardly], and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers [sexually immoral], and sorcerers [all forms of evil/magic to force or do harm], and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
  • Exod. 20:16 Y ou shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  • Eph. 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. [Since "drunk" is methusko {meth-oos'-ko}: to intoxicate; make drunk; to get drunk; become intoxicated, "wine" can be any intoxicating substance including illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs. The issue is do not abuse the body by intoxicating it [1 Cor. 6:19]. Though it is not a sin to drink, it is a sin to get drunk OR to influence to get drunk OR to drink in defiance such as underage drinking.
  • 1 Cor. 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
  • Deut. 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain. [Vain is shav {shawv}: emptiness, nothingness, vanity, such as in slang or profanity. With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or responsible discussion and in praise and prayer is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name or title. So, trying to excuse such expressions with "I was talking TO God/Jesus when I said that" or It's just words" or "I was acting" will not work with Him. Nor will "Everybody says that" excuse the sin of using His name in vain. If everyone on the planet who has ever drawn a breath used His name in vain, it would still be a sin to do so. If no one ever did, it would still be a sin to do so. Whether we believe it or not. Whether we like it or not. Whether we care or not.]

    Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry

  • Jer. 37:9 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not!
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend what is vile, embrace it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it.]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*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 one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [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. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    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 objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    Lovely Still (2008) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 84 out of 100
  • home intrusion
  • firearm for suicide
  • separation anxiety with animated reactions
  • dementia

    Impudence/Hate (I) - 53 out of 100
  • sales pitch lie and an additional lie
  • seven uses of profanity
  • adolescent disrespect of the elderly
  • verbal assault with accusations

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 84 out of 100
  • man in the shower, twice
  • cohabitation, twice

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 65 out of 100
  • bar
  • booze, repeatedly
  • smoking, twice
  • drinking, once

    Offense to God (O) - 49 out of 100
  • 10 abuses of God's name
  • Christmas without Jesus

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
  • none noted

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    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 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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    * CAP Equivalence to MPAA Rating Scale:
    Please note our new manner of indicating a film's Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rating in comparison with the CAP equivalence such as "PG-13 [R-13]." The first term is the Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) rating. The second term [in brackets] indicates that which the film earned under the CAP analysis model. In the example, "PG-13 [R-13]" indicates the MPAA rated the film PG-13 but the film earned a CAP final score in the scoring range earned by R-rated movies in the comparative baseline database. Other comparative terms used might be "PG [13-PG]", "G [PG-G] or even 'PG-13 [PG]" as was the case for Alien vs Predator. I doubt there will ever be a "G [R]" used, but only time will tell. The CAP analysis model is Rock-solid. The MPAA is not.

    The current CAP to MPAA** nomenclature is:

    For G rated Films with
    G equivalence: G
    PG equivalence: PG-G
    PG-13 equivalence: 13-G
    R equivalence: R-G<
    For PG rated Films with
    G equivalence: G-PG
    PG equivalence: PG
    PG-13 equivalence: 13-PG
    R equivalence: R-PG
    For PG-13 rated Films with
    G equivalence: G-13
    PG equivalence: PG(13)
    PG-13 equivalence: PG-13
    R equivalence: R-13
    For R rated Films with
    G equivalence: G-R
    PG equivalence: PG-R
    PG-13 equivalence: 13-R
    R equivalence: R
    For NR rated Films with
    G equivalence: G-NR
    PG equivalence: PG-NR
    PG-13 equivalence: 13-NR
    R equivalence: R-NR
    ** G, PG, PG-13 and R are registered trademarks of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

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