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Valentine (2001), (R)
CAP Score: 17
CAP Influence Density: 2.03
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NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is purely objective and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie
SUMMARY / COMMENTARY:
VALENTINE (R) -- an expression of power and control.
A bitterly abused and ridiculed nerdy sixth grader, Jeremy (as an adult, David Boreanaz) is mercilessly rejected by all the popular girls at his elementary school. Lily, Shelley, Paige and Kate (as adults, Jessica Cauffiel, Katherine Heigl, Denise Richards and Marley Shelton) would have nothing to do with Jeremy. To even look at him let alone be seen talking with him was poisonous. But in shameful 'no one else will ask me' resolve, last-choice wallflower Dorothy (Jessica Capshaw) agrees to dance with Jeremy. In a sixth grader stereotyping, Jeremy and Dorothy end up necking under the bleachers at the dance. A bunch of Jeremy's male classmates discover the pecking pair and follow suit with the rest of the popular crowd and harass Jeremy to no end. Then they beat the sixth grade out of him -- brutally. Just like in the movies. And, of course, there was no adult supervision of these sixth graders anywhere to be found. Just like in the movies.
Jeremy remembers. He remembers the abuse ... and the abusers. He harbors memory of each painful moment ... for 13 years. Those 13 years were good to Jeremy. He grew to a strong adult that one would not expect possible of the nerd type. Then, one by one, Jeremy murders all but one of the girls who victimized him as a child. And Jeremy murders a few men in their lives along the way. Jeremy was merciless. Just as merciless as his taunters were to him but with more finality. He got even for the [Columbine] ridicule, social rejection and social torture.
Valentine was an expression of power and control through revenge by stalking and murder of abusers. All murders were most graphic. All but one of the murders involved impalement of some kind. A knife was the most visible instrument Jeremy used. The writers even had Jeremy stabbing a slew of bodies in bags in a morgue to find which bag hid an intended victim. Penetration of the impaling instruments was clearly visible as was the blood, the traumatized tissues AND the horrors and helplessness of the victims. And, of course, Jeremy got away with the murders -- no consequences of any kind. He even "got the girl" in the end. The poor man was entitled, of course [Prov. 3:31]. Indeed, gratification in and by revenge through murder was the "message": that the murdered victims got what they so richly deserved.
The viciousness and glorification of it in Valentine might serve the impressionable observer with direct influence on his/her coping skills and decision-making skills and the necessary contribution of them to the foundation of behavior management. The emboldening properties of this movie and the planting of aberrant behavioral templates by it might serve at least as catalyst for the myriad of other counterproductive and/or corruptive influences in the lives of modern youth, especially if incorporated while suffering the emotional fires of puberty or social warfare.
No one movie is likely to change personal behaviors or learned values and ethics that much. But each of the hundreds of movies and thousands of other entertainment presences with aberrant behavior templates, each touching and thus contaminating righteous thought daily, feed and fortify ever so slightly in symbiotic growth the breakdown and decay of behavioral mechanics and morality. God knew what He was talking about when He told us that bad company corrupts good character [1 Cor. 15:33]. Valentine is little, if any, more than "bad company."
I pray many of us can soon open our minds enough to see precisely what many movies, whether intentional, are truly doing to us. In ways we may not understand, many movies hturT us. And, yes, "hturT" is correct. It is reversed Truth, twisted and counterfeited beyond recognition and shows the hidden and sometimes invisible hurt in doing so.
If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ].
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.
FINDINGS / SCORING:
NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely, definitely when plural.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
Offense to God (O)(2):