ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones (which includes at-home teens) through you, their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

(2003), PG-13 [R-13]
Analysis Date: March 21, 2003
CAP Score: 44
CAP Influence Density: 1.31

MinMax: -100

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ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Site Map (Table of Contents). Further, 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 completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.

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If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

(2003), PG-13 [R-13] -- is an example of Movie A.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Miramax Films
Distribution (US): Miramax Films
Director(s): Bruno Barreto
Producer(s): Matthew Baer, Alan C. Blomquist, Bobby Cohen, Lizzie Friedman, Brad Grey, Francesca Silvestri
Written by/Screenplay: Eric Wald (written by)
Cinematography/Camera: Affonso Beato
Music: Theodore Shapiro
Film Editing: Ray Hubley, Charles Ireland
Casting: Marci Liroff
Production Design: Dan Davis
Art Direction: Elizabeth Lapp
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6, Granbury, Texas

Filmmakers are getting very good at using "thousands" of little ankle-biter digs and snips at morality and decency to maximize the "immorality envelope" such as in the PG-13 movie, View from the Top and yet stay out of the purely vulgar realm of many R-rated movies. For example, movies such as View from Above use many lesser issues of assault on morality and decency, especially sexual, to receive a lesser rating than more severe movies which use fewer but much more bold issues of insult to wholesome. Consider. Movie A presents 100 examples of bad, each worth 10 "bads." Movie A is rated PG-13. Movie B presents only 10 examples of bad but each example is worth 100 "bads." Movie B is rated R. The immorality magnitude of both movies are equal - 1000 "bads." View from the Top is an example of Movie A while morally equivalent to Movie B. View from the Top is a R-13 movie.

Donna Jensen (Gwyneth Paltrow) has been told all her life that she is a small town girl and will never amount to anything. Since childhood, Donna has had a view of the world from the bottom. Now, she is going to go for getting a View from the Top.

Frustrated and fed up Donna, broken-hearted from a "dear Jane" on a birthday card, breaks away from her trailer life in Silver Springs, Nevada and goes for the gold as an airline attendant for Sierra commuter airline shuttling drunks and gamblers between Laughlin and Fresno only. Soon, Donna finds that attending commuter flights is not all it is cracked up to be. If the working conditions were not bad enough, the "uniform" they had to wear would be enough to choke a clown. The only positive thing for Donna about working for Sierra Airlines was co-pilot, Steve (Rob Lowe) who provided mentorship for Donna as she flexed her wings.

A big job fair gets Donna's attention. The Royalty Airlines! International flights! First class! Now that is for her. Daring fate, Donna convinces her two attendant friends to go to the job fair with her and apply at Royalty Airlines. It is with Royalty Airlines Donna meets Sally Weston (Candice Bergen), the greatest airline attendant ever. Sally had even written a book about the discipline of providing in-flight service to passengers and was the template for all airline attendants. Even for Donna. Especially for Donna.

So, Donna is now a member of the flight attendant corp of Royalty Airlines but because of her test scores she was assigned to ... yup, commuter flights. But Christine (Christina Applegate), Donna's best friend made it to first class international! She was the top scorer in the training program. Ah! A little cheating enabled Donna's best friend, Christine to switch exams. When confronted with this matter, airline attendant training supervisor, John Whitney (Mike Myers) was less than compassionate. Donna demanded Whitney show her the exam she took but "procedure" would not allow it.

For a year Donna must fly the commuter flights after which she can retest for the first class international flights. Grrr. This was not good. Pining, Donna was befriended by nice guy, Ted (Mark Ruffalo) who is a law school drop-out. A final year drop-out at that. And a cohabitation relationship develops [1Cor. 7:2]. Of course!. It's PG-13! And it is not your place to introduce your kids to such immoral behavior [Gal. 5:19]. That responsibility belongs to the filmmakers, don't ya know? I mean, really! Don't they know better than you what your kids should know about the "real world?" If that bothers you, just ignore the filmmakers and what they strut [Ps. 12:8]. And it is their right to sneak immorality to your kids by putting such behavior in a movie approved for kids about which, unless you slice out about three solitary hours and $10.00 from your day, you have no chance of knowing beforehand beyond the trailers, advertisements and the MPAA rating what is in the movie ... until now.

Donna also pines to Sally (Candice Bergen), a veteran airline attendant, who, feeling sorry for Donna and recognizing the signals of some of the things that had happened to her as she climbed the ladder to get her "view from the top", pulled a few strings and arranged for Donna to see her exam. Sure enough, it was not hers but was the exam Christina took.

Other issues you may consider unfit for your developing Christian young man or woman (or yourself) include the use of God's name in vain in the ever-increasingly popular three-syllable sentence with His name trailing at the end. Twenty-eight times. None with the four letter expletive but God's name in vain is God's name in vain [Deut. 5:11]. Another "of course" is the inclusion of homosexual innuendo and suggestions. [1Cor. 6:9-10] and the 15 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary [Col. 3:8].

There are many more matters to be concerned about in this "R-13" but I leave them to the listing in the Findings/Scoring section.


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.

  • 1Cor. 7:2 But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.
  • Gal. 5:19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
  • Deut. 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain [shav' {shawv}: emptiness, nothingness, vanity]: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. [With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or thoughtful discussion is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it.]
  • 1Cor. 6:9-10 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
  • Col. 3:8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it]. [I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change [warp, distort, falsely represent] the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*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 [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; 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.


    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.


    View from the Top (2003) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • petty theft
  • fighting, two women

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • fifteen uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • cheating
  • vulgar gesture

    Sex/Homosexuality (S)
  • dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure, repeatedly
  • offer of sexual favor, repeatedly
  • exhibitionism, repeatedly
  • flash nudity
  • skimpy swim wear, repeatedly
  • camera angle to force viewer on private parts, repeatedly
  • sexual suggestion, repeatedly
  • suggestive eye movement
  • woman in towel only
  • homosexual presence/suggestion, repeatedly
  • sexual reference
  • excess cleavage, repeatedly
  • encouraging homosexuality
  • cohabitation
  • man and woman in bed together
  • adult in underwear

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • booze
  • bar
  • smoking

    Offense to God (O)
  • 28 uses of God's name in vain but all without the four letter expletive
  • "Everybody does it. It's no big deal." about theft
  • Christmas without Jesus

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • none noted

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    NOTE: While the Summary/Commentary section of these reports is precisely that -- a summary in commentary format which can be and sometimes is subjective, the actual CAP Analysis Model (the Findings/Scoring section) makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse, for manufacture of justification for, or camouflaging of ignominious content or aberrant behavior or imagery with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme/plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example of behavior or thought from the sinful display or of the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. We make no attempt to quantify the "artistic" or "entertainment" value of a movie -- whether a movie has any positive value or "entertainment" value is up to mom/dad. The CAP analysis model is the only known set of tools available to parents and grandparents which give *them* the control they need, bypassing the opinion-based assessment of movies by others and defeating the deceit of those who would say anything to convince their parents otherwise. The model is completely objective to His Word. Our investigation standards are founded in the teachings and expectations of Jesus Christ. If a sinful behavior is portrayed, it is called sinful whether Hollywood tries to make it otherwise. That the sinful behavior is "justified" by some manufactured conditions does not soften nor erase the price of sin. Whether there is application of fantasy "justification" or "redemption" is up to mom/dad.

    "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.

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