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(2011), PG-13 [Hard R-13*] (1hr 27min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
May 25, 2011
May 26, 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.

(2011), PG-13 [Hard R-13*] ... She is possessive obsessive to the extreme

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Screen Gems, Vertigo Entertainment
Distribution (US): Screen Gems
Director(s): Christian E. Christainsen
Producer(s): Doug Davison, George Flynn, Roy Lee, Sonny Mallhi, Beau Marks, Irene Yeung
Written by: Sony Mallhi
Cinematography/Camera: Phil Parmet
Music: John Frizzell
Film Editing: randy Bricker
Casting: Linda Kroeger
Production Design: John gary Steele
Art Direction: Chris Conrwell
Viewed on Sony Pictures Home Entertainment DVD

"I've seen this movie before." You may say that if you watch The Roommate because it is so formula and cookie-cutter in style and statement. Only the faces have been changed.

Sara Matthews (Minka Kelly) has a new roommate. In fact, it is her first roommate since this is her first dorm room at the University of Los Angeles. Sara's roommate is Rebecca (Leighton Meester). Rebecca has some issues that need medication. She is possessive obsessive to the extreme and is in denial since she won't take her prescribed medication.

The first hint of Rebecca's possessive obsessive control freak issues is when Rebecca showed resentment at one of Sara's friends for expressing social friendship with Sara. Another hint comes when Rebecca fancies a disturbing painting. The hints keep coming. One of the strongest hints of Rebecca's psychiatric issues is when she puts Sara's kitten in the clothes dryer at the laundro-mat. Sara named the kitten Cuddles and is affectionate with the kitten. That put a burr on Rebecca's possessive obsessive saddle.

The very low final score of 15 out of 100 for The Roommate is not so much because of intensely graphic or extreme individual examples of assault on morality and decency as much as because of the sheer number of examples of not-so-graphic or extreme - "lesser" - examples. For example, there are 19 examples of violence, 29 examples of impudence/hate (mostly profanity), 22 of sexually immodest behavior or talk, 14 of alcoholic beverages and 12 uses of God's name in vain (and one murder). All in 87 minutes of programming. That is a little over one example of some kind of assault on morality and decency every minute! Such thickness of assaults create an Influence Density (ID) of 2.02 when the range of ID scores earned by R-rated films in the comparative baseline database is 0.78 to 2.04 (the higher the figure the thicker the assaults). An ID score of 2.02 nearly tops that range of R-equivalent ID figures.

The film is not that graphic or odious. But there are so many examples of lesser moral assault that the magnitude or total envelope of the film content is equivalent to the more gruesome films more severely rated. This film is probably one of the best cinematic testimonies to the CAP Rule of 1000 for the nearly 1400 films we have analyzed so far. I will put that into perspective. A film that contains 10 examples of assault on morality and decency each worth 100 "bads" (Movie A) is influentially equivalent to a film of the same length that contains 100 examples of lesser assault on morality worth only 10 "bads" each (Movie B). Each film represents a negative moral influence of 1000. The Roommate is an example of Movie B.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
The hardest hitting examples of violence and/or crime in this film include physical assault with injury, animal torture killing, self-injury to implicate, a firearm held to the victim's face and long sequences of fighting.

God is quite clear about how He feels about violence. Fifty six times in the Bible He speaks darkly of violence. A couple of them include Prov. 3:31-32 and Ps. 11:5. God even warns us that violence is "catching" and can lead one into the "path that is not good." [Prov. 16:29] Even man (four professional public health agencies) has warned us of the leading properties of violence by revealing "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." How many ways must it be said for us to heed the wisdom?

Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
While I doubt any one of the actors or actresses was actually a teenager, they were portraying teens. So, the behaviors and comments demonstrated onscreen are treated as if the thespians were teens. This film shows our teens what Hollywood thinks of teens: of youth at the age when "it is good to be bad."* Maybe some of our teens are that way in some situations but many of our teens are responsible and productive citizens. But, unfortunately, because of such demonstration in and as entertainment, many of our teens adopt the cinematic portrayals. [Rom. 5:19] Cussing is one of them [Col. 3:8, 2 Tim 2:16, Prov. 8:13 and more, many more]. Eighteen times a "teen" used some form of profanity. Twelve times a "teen" lied. There is more "teen" impudence and belligerence demonstrated in this film but the point is made.

* Dr. Karan Omidvari at St. Michael's Medical Center in Newark reveals that "teenagers are at the age when it's good to be bad." If that does not "confirm" what God said about the foolishness in the heart of youth [Prov. 22:15] I don't know what would. Further. Dr. Karen Nelson, head of a major university psychology department and Dr. Larry Gilliam, a practicing counselor both agree with me that it would be unusual for even a 16 year old to be able to fully separate fantasy from reality or fully anticipate the consequences of his/her actions: that such skills typically do not fully plateau until the early 20s.

Sexual Immorality - Zero out of 100
Yes, there is "teen" intercourse in this film but it is "sanitized" by not showing any genitals. (Like that is supposed to make it clean?) Many times the suggestion of a behavior is more influential than the witnessing an actual act. Just as "viewing violence may lead to real life violence", viewing sex may lead to real life sex. Tracy exhibits herself to a crowd of fraternity party goers but we see it from the rear as if that makes it okay to do so. Stephen (Cam Gigandet) glances down at Sara's wet chest rather often. Rebecca uses her sex appeal to extort a college professor. There is more to the sexually immoral content of this film. Please look to the listing in the Findings/Scoring section for a complete accounting of the content found. [Mark 7:20 - 23]

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - Zero out of 100
Thirteen year olds may watch this film. That the MPAA guidelines say "Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13" is meaningless. "PG-13" says and says to all 13 year olds that 13 year olds can watch it since they are not "under 13." And 13 year olds are indeed vulnerable to the influence of the drinking and drunkenness in the film. 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 - the "PG-13" crowd) 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) - Zero out of 100
    Twelve times a "teen" used God's name in vain, once with the four letter expletive. I wonder if any of the writers or performer who set the example by using His name in vain knew of Luke 17:2 which warns that s/he who teaches and/or causes our youth to sin would be better off with a millstone tied about his/her neck then cast into the sea. God is clear in Deut. 5:11 about the sin of using His name in vain. In vain? What is that? Since you've asked, I'll tell you. :) Vain is shav {shawv}: emptiness, nothingness, vanity, such as an expletive. With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or responsible discussion 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 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.

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 89 out of 100
    There was only one murder and no suicides in the entire 87 minutes. The murder was by multiple stabbings by Rebecca in the back of Sara's ex-boyfriend, Jason (Matt Lanter) as Rebecca was sexually involved with him. Fortunately the murder was not as graphic as many movie murders. There was no blood nor flesh splattered about, but it was still portrayal of a murder.


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  • Prov. 3:31-32 Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways, for the LORD detests a perverse man but takes the upright into his confidence. [These verses speak to having violent desires and thoughts as well as violent behaviors. So, don't let the violence seen conjure violence in your heart nor let your heart be drawn into the "He got what he deserved" trap.]
  • Ps. 11:5 The LORD trieth [tests] the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.
  • Prov. 16:29 A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good. [The issue is the violence, the 'way that is not good' no matter how "small" or "justified" the violence might seem, and its "leading" effect on the observer. "A violent man" can be any character of any age, any gender, human or not in the act of committing (demonstrating in the case of entertainment) violent behavior/action whether for good or evil OR the violent behaviors/actions themselves. Such exposure can and does embolden the viewer into aggression, especially youth. It took years for American professional health community to finally affirm, probably without knowing it, that which God told us in 1 Cor. 15:33 below. See also Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children: Congressional Public Health Summit for more information. Further, God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV.]
  • 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.
  • 2 Tim. 2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
  • Prov. 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. ["Froward" is tahpukah: perversity, perverse thing. "Perverse" is iqqesh: aside from the right path, corrupt, twisted, distorted, crooked. "Froward mouth" then includes perverse, profane (bebelos: unhallowed, ungodly) speech. And arrogance is what emboldens and propels one to use profane speech.]
  • Prov. 22:15 Foolishness [ivveleth: folly, senselessness, thoughtlessness, recklessness] is bound in the heart of a child]; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. ["Foolishness" is ivveleth {iv-veh'-leth}: folly, foolishness, foolish, foolishly; from the same as eviyl {ev-eel'} meaning of one who despises wisdom; of one who mocks when guilty, is quarrelsome, is licentious. Note that the "rod" (of correction) does not have to be punishment and must never be physically harmful. A simple "good job" when warranted can serve as the "rod" as well. If you would like to know more, please visit our Spare the Rod ... Spoil the Child: A Parental Perspective. It is rather long though.]
  • Rom. 5:19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, ... [By the influence of the people demonstrating sin in and as entertainment, many who watch it adopt the sinful ways.]
  • Mark 7:20 - 23 He [Jesus] went on: "What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean.' For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.'"
  • 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.
  • Deut. 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain [vain: shav' {shawv}; false, emptiness, nothingness, lying, worthlessness (of conduct)]: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
  • 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?

    ***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 [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • 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.)

    The Roommate (2011) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - Zero out of 100
  • terror sequence
  • physical assault, repeatedly, some graphic
  • threat to kill
  • stalking
  • animal torture killing
  • self injury to implicate
  • bondage
  • firearm to face, repeatedly
  • attempted murder by suffocation
  • long fighting sequences
  • gunfire to disable door lock
  • defensive killing by blade

    Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
  • 19 uses of profanity, 18 by "teens"
  • lies, repeatedly
  • body piercing
  • belligerence at parents, repeatedly
  • tattooing
  • identity fraud

    Sexual Immorality (S) - Zero out of 100
  • rude gaze
  • booty call, repeatedly
  • exhibitionism (no nudity seen by viewer)
  • cat calls at women
  • "teen" in underwear
  • woman in shower
  • excessive cleavage
  • long sequence of sex tease talk
  • "teens" co-stripping
  • identify fraud for sex
  • "teen" intercourse (no nudity)
  • sexual assault
  • extortion using sex
  • crotch kick
  • sex talk
  • planning sex
  • sex "come-on"
  • lesbian kiss and mannerisms
  • admission of sexually immoral behavior
  • "teen" in shower

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - Zero out of 100
  • booze, repeatedly
  • "teen" drinking party
  • additional "teen" drinking, repeatedly
  • "teen" drunkenness
  • "teen" possession of a controlled substance
  • prescription drug abuse
  • "teens" in bar, repeatedly

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
  • 11 uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive by "teens" and one by an adult
  • one use of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive by a "teen"

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 89 out of 100
  • one murder by blade

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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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