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Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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(2004), PG-13 -- ... how men want to subdue and control their wives.
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Paramount Pictures, Scott Rudin Productions, De Line Pictures, DreamWorks SKG
Distribution (US): Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Distribution LLC, DreamWorks SKG, Paramount Pictures
Director(s): Frank Oz
Producer(s): Ronald M. Bozman, Leslie J. Converse, Donald De Line, Gabriel Grunfeld, Scott Rudin, Edgar J. Scherick, Keri Selig
Written by: Ira Levin (book)
Screenplay: Paul Rudnick
Cinematography/Camera: Rob Hahn
Music: David Arnold, David Mansfield, Dana Glover
Film Editing: Jay Rabinowitz
Casting: Laura Rosenthal, Juliet Taylor
Production Design: Jackson De Govia
Art Direction: Peter Rogness
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
Please use this report cautiously. I dozed a minute or two. Though it is note likely, during those couple minutes there could have been a couple issues of assault on morality of any kind. Even so, this film still earned a score equivalent to some R-rated movies in the comparative baseline database, making it, too, an R-13 without the missed couple minutes.
In this remake of the 1975 movie, top TV executive for the EBS television network, Joanna Eberhard (Nicole Kidman) made a big mistake. She produced a reality TV show which tested the loyalty of a husband to his wife and she to he. The husbands were tested using prostitutes hired just for the show and the wives were tested using "hunks" in Tarzan(tm) dress.
When one husband/wife team were subjected to test of their fidelity, the husband chose to remain loyal to his wife while she, when voicing her choice admitted to adultery, chose the hunks over her husband. This made the husband flip his lid who later attempted to kill Eberhard. The upper echelon for EBS decided Eberhard was no longer the right stuff for EBS. By the way, lesbianism gets strategically and lightly inserted in this subplot, just to keep awareness of the alternate lifestyle alive, dontcha know. [Rom. 1:26]
By the way, regarding the alternate lifestyle, I just received notice by email that the republican-controlled Senate passed the hate crimes bill today (June 15, 2004). Now it goes to the House then to whomever, ultimately to the President. Hopefully, the House and/or the President will ensure the Constitution prevails and sanity rules. If the hate crime bill tells us that it is illegal to share God's Word with others as similar "laws" do in Sweden and Canada (Source: Concerned Women for America, "Mug Gramma Law"), it is a violation of the Constitution which gives us not only the freedom of speech but the freedom of religion. And this is all not to mention that if the hate crimes bill says it is illegal to share God's Word it is in violation of His Word. Please do not try to convince me the hate crimes bill has nothing to do with Christians preaching that the practice of homosexuality is a sin. If you read the article, note that Matthew Shepard's name figured sympathetically in the proceedings but not so with Jessie Dirkhising's name. Jessie was a 14 year old boy who was rape murdered, choked on his own underwear soaked in gasoline after being sodomized, by two homosexual practitioners. Of course, the Jessie Dirkhising event, which is only one of such events, seems to have escaped the watchful and vigilant eyes of the media. The North American Man-boy Love Association will love the hate crimes bill if it becomes law. And they will love your sons ... more ... if it does. And I doubt you will be able to say anything about it ... legally. And I can guess what you are thinking: "That is extremist thinking!" Is it really? We've come a long way, baby. In a short time.
And later in the show is a male homosexual pair. [1Cor. 6:9-10] One particularly offensive comment made by one of the two homosexual practitioners turned politician was when he claimed his homosexual "love" was "in the Lord" thus claiming a homosexual relationship as being blessed and nurtured by the Lord. Jesus never once sinned nor did He ever encourage anyone to participate in sin. Not once. Nor will He excuse any sin. He will forgive them all if we ask believing, but He will not excuse any. Even after Jesus forgave the prostitute, He did not excuse the sin of prostitution and reminded her of the sin of it by telling her to "Go. Sin no more." Jesus will not rewrite the Word just because it would fill our bellies for Him to do so.
Fired and depressed, Eberhard's understanding and sympathetic husband, Walter Kresby (Matthew Broderick) [Eberhard/Kresby? Husband and wife? That is interesting.] decided that what the family needed was to leave the big city for the serene country life. Walter quit his VP job with EBS just for Joanna to move her and their son and daughter to Stepford, Connecticut where idyllic was defined and exhibited and where crime and poverty were as absent as ants on a ski slope with new powder. Strangely enough, the Eberhard/Kresby kids seem to disappear somewhere in the show.
In Stepford the Kresby/Eberhards noted that all was so comfortable and well-to-do it was unnatural. All the wives in Stepford were as dutiful and unquestioning as the housewives in TV commercials from the 50s. "Get me a beer" resulted in a sickeningly obedient wife, smiling as plastic as a Barbie(tm) doll with equal life in her face, fetching a beer with gratitude that she could perform for her husband. And in keeping with the trend of PG-13 movies, one of the wives "serviced" her husband at about 120 decibels. Unseen as the romp might have been, there was no doubt.
The high point in the lives of the women was a group discussion of Christmas crafts while the men participated in grunting sessions amongst themselves in a secret society called the (originally enough) the Stepford Men's Association headed by Mike Wellington (Christopher Walken), the "father" of the Stepford society.
It is obvious about 20 minutes into the show that it is a satire of some notion of how men want to subdue and control their wives; to keep "the little women" subordinate to them. Toward the end of the show we find that the men wanted to subdue their powerful wives since all of the Stepford wives were once top executives, politicians, scientists and the like. There is the statement at the heart of the show; that the husbands felt threatened by the success of their wives and decided to counterfeit them in order to control them. We never see, though, how the plot handled the independence of the dissimilar married names, Eberhard/Kresby. It was always Walter and Joanna, never Mr. Kresby and Mrs. Eberhard or Mr. and Mrs. Kresby/Eberhard.
Joanna tied her best to conform to the outwardly gratifying discipline exuded by the Stepford wives. Almost making it to the same plateau of the Stepford wives, Joanna began to realize the sheer emptiness of such servitude. At the same time, Walter is almost remolded into the same cast as the other Stepford husbands but sanity prevails and how it prevails is up to you if you decide to watch this R-13 in spite of the listing in the Findings/Scoring section. As always, we tell you what is there, you decide. The ending is indeed a twist from what the plot leads the viewer to think.
The Stepford Wives is clearly a continuation of the social statement about the sexual freedom and "equal rights" movement of the 1975 version. The Bible gives clear and specific hierarchy of the family in Eph. 5:22-25, in Col. 3:18-19 and again in 1 Peter 3:1, 7-8. God has a rather elegant plan for husbands and wives and in no case does His plan place one dictatorial of the other. His plan simply defines our roles which, while being different, are to be complementary, not adversarial or competitive. Yes, the husband is the leader, but a good leader cannot be a good leader unless he knows how and when to be a good follower. And a good leader's leadership may be measured by the degree of agreement of the follower. Though in a romantic and light-hearted sense, think of this in the way My Big Fat Greek Wedding put it: that the husband is indeed the head of the wife but she is the neck which can turn the head any which way she chooses.
The Stepford Wives contained only four uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary but 11 uses of God's name in vain. Though all uses of God's name in vain were without the four letter expletive, God has very specific requirements about using His name in vain [Deut 5:11]. Sexual immorality consisted mainly of talk of it in various aspects, dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure and excessive cleavage but a lot of it. The only nudity noted was of a number of mannequins. The listing in the Findings/Scoring section will tell all that was noted.
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.
***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)
Single Christian Network
Kids, Teens and Home Vertical Portal
|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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