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(2010), PG-13 [Very Lite R-13*] (1hr 30.5min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
February 15, 2011/CENTER>
February 22, 2011

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Christian Long Distance

(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.

(2010), PG [Very Lite R-13*] ... all the earmarks of most PG-13 films, ... just not as intense or as extreme.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Arthur Cohn Productions
Distribution (US): Samuel Goldwyn Films
Director(s): Udayan Prasad
Producer(s): Lillian Birnbaum, Arthur Cohn, Jeannette Eckenstein, Samuel Falk, Esther Grether, Annetta Grisard, Robert Ortiz
Writing Credits: Pete Hamill (story), Erin Dignam (screenplay)
Cinematography/Camera: Chris Menges
Music: Jack Livesey
Film Editing: Christopher Tellefsen
Casting: Sharon Howard-Field
Production Design: Monroe Kelly
Viewed on ARC Entertainment DVD

A final score of 53 places this film at the top of the scoring range for R-rated films (54 and below out of 100) in the comparative baseline database. Earning but two more points would have placed this film above the R scoring range and at the bottom of the scoring range earned by PG-13 films (55 to 67 out of 100). That makes this film a "very lite R-13", meaning a film that earned a R-equivalent CAP final score but was rated PG-13 by the MPAA. It has all the earmarks of most PG-13 films, e.g., immoral sex, profanity, some degree of nudity and so on, just not as intense or as extreme.

Brett Hanson (William Hurt) was released from prison today, August 5, 2007. He has spent six years in prison for involuntary manslaughter. As he walks down the prison corridors several of the inmates bid him farewell. When he gets outside to the visitor area he sees that other released inmates are greeted by their loved ones. But no one is there to greet Brett. Not even the love of his life, May (Maria Bello).

The reason for the emptiness of the visitor's lot for Brett is revealed well but later in the film. The chemistry between Hurt and Bello is not as profound as one might expect of performers in a chick flick but the script makes up for the lack of chemistry. There are definitely some cinematic moments that are intended to be, and are, touching and warm moments that do not slap the face of wholesome morals. But some do. Such as the implied intercourse between Stewart and Redmayne. It rather has as much warmth as two dogs.

Brett's first stop was at a diner on the road to somewhere. From the diner Brett watches some local teens doing what teens do when not in school. One of them is fifteen year old Martine (Kristen Stewart) who dumps what appeared to be her boyfriend because he got too friendly with another of the local girls. An unknown boy, Gordon, a.k.a., 'Gordy' (Eddie Redmayne) had unsuccessfully tried to strike up a conversation with Martine so Martine tried to shove the break up in her ex-boyfriend's face by asking Gordy if he would go with her ... while standing in front of her ex-boyfriend. This scene was awkward, shaky and rather out of place as a cinematic tool to introduce and bring together the three quintessential characters and in doing so bring Martine and Brett together for the rest of the show. And the next step in fortifying the bringing together was even more out of place, awkward and shaky.

Brett had trekked to a ferry landing while Martine and Gordy tool around. While Brett is waiting at a ferry stop, Martine and Gordy pull up and strike up a conversation with Brett. After a few moments of picture-taking by Gordy, Martine asks Brett if he would go with her and Gordy because she wanted to go with Gordy but just not alone with him. A 15 year old girl with an older teen boy asking an almost middle-aged stranger to go with her because she did not want to go alone with the teen boy? Fortunately, this is where most of the script awkwardness and grasping ends. From there the story starts.

A subplot of the story is Brett's relationship with May, a woman he worked for 6 years ago and had told her that he was going to ask her to marry him, which they did and whose unborn child miscarried due to damages from a previous abortion (before Brett). But then is when Brett caused the death of a local man and was sent to prison. From prison Brett decided to release May and divorce her since they could not be together for 6 years. Now he is out and is trying to find the courage to again contact May.

I'll not spoil the film any further except to say it does provide some rather warm and touching moments plus a story though it is difficult to put into words (or maybe make sense of?) however mundane or boring it might seem. Unfortunately, being a PG-13 it has some moral nasties in it which will be addressed briefly in the individual investigation area discussions below and itemized in the Findings/Scoring section.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 78 out of 100
This film presents a touch of the horrors of prison life as Brett is released. Brett, in a tantrum at losing May, breaks one of her windows. On one the stops the trio make, Gordy bumps a dent into the door of a van that just pulled up and the young couple in the van react with hostility and the male assaults Gordy, to which Brett slugs the male of the couple to stop him from slapping Gordy around. Also, the mechanism of death of the man Brett accidentally kills is seen ... and heard. All might seem to be rather cinematically "tame" now that we have become so numbed by the narcotics of extremes in and as entertainment, but each little Hollywood snippet of violence and/or crime takes its toll. Think of each of the little snippets of violence and/or crime planted in you in and as entertainment as one of those little straight pins from the collars and cuffs of new dress shirts getting lost in the couch. Those little straight pins will stay in the couch until one or more gets provoked enough to work its way back to the surface of the cushion to make its point in your backside ... painfully. Likewise, each of those little snippets of violence you pick up (or any other negative behavior template) from entertainment might stay in your mind until one day someone or something provokes their return to the surface. Painfully. God knew what He was talking about when He advised us about "evil communications." [1 Cor. 15:33, Prov. 16:29]

Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
Eighteen times someone utters some form of the three/four letter word vocabulary plus one use of the most foul of the foul words. [Col. 3:8] An aggressive attitude of a young mother causes reckless endangerment of her infant son. Martine is not respectful of her father whose attention is spent more on his new girlfriend than on Martine. Gordy is full of himself. A couple vulgar expressions and gestures flip up on the screen. But the most uncomfortable matter of impudence was the entire story involved a 15 year old girl traveling about with an older boy and an adult male.

Sexual Immorality (S) - 30 out of 100
May (or her stand-in) lies on a bed nude with a sheet covering some of her but it is obvious she is nude. Brett and May are seen in a shower through a steamed door having sex. Some still photos of pornography infect the story as well. Twice a female is sexually assaulted. There is strong inference of intercourse between Martine and Gordy. [Col. 2:20 - 3:6, 1 Cor. 7:1 - 2, 1 Cor. 7:9, 1 Thess. 4:1 - 7]

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 45 out of 100
Teens admit to being drunk. Brett smokes cigarettes repeatedly. A bar. Drinking. Beer. It's all there for your 13 year old kids. As if 13 is magic and 13 year olds are mature enough to partake in such entertainment without being influenced by it. Well, the American College of Physicians say such trust is unfounded.

A 2002 study by the American College of Physicians (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.

    In other words, if you think your teens are mature enough to not be influenced by the demonstration of consuming alcohol in and as entertainment, give some credit to other professionals who found, generally speaking, they are not. [Eph. 5:18]

    Offense to God (O) - 67 out of 100
    God's name is abused 18 times through the 90.5 minutes of this movie, four of them by a teen. [Deut. 5:11, Luke 17:2] Divorce is part of the story. [Mal. 2:16]

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
    There were no murders or suicides found in the entire 90.5 minutes of the story.


    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.


  • 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" ["man" here is enowsh {en-oshe"}: man (collective), mortal, person, mankind; contracted for iysh {eesh}: whosoever, each] can be any character of any age, any gender, human or not since the cinematic display is at the hands men and women, 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. 2:20 - 3:6 Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.
  • 1 Cor. 7:1 - 2 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication [porneia: illicit sexual intercourse, adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc., sexual intercourse with close relatives, sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman], let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
  • 1 Cor. 7:9 But if they cannot contain [exhibit self-control, be continent], let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
  • 1 Thess. 4:1 - 7 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound [excel] more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification [purity], that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess [control] his vessel [body] in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence [desire for that which is forbidden, craving], even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man* go beyond [transgress] and defraud [take advantage of] his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. ["Fornication" is porneia: illicit sexual intercourse, adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc., sexual intercourse with close relatives, sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman. *Man is anthropos: a human being whether male of female.]
  • 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 an expletive. With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than in prayer, with respect or reverence or in 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/Christ when I said that" or "It's just words" or "I was acting" or "I was quoting" will not work with God.]
  • Mal. 2:16 "I hate divorce," says the LORD God of Israel, "and I hate a man's covering himself with violence as well as with his garment," says the LORD Almighty. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.

    ***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 Yellow Handkerchief (2010) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 78 out of 100
  • prison scenes
  • vandalism
  • adult assault of teen boy
  • fight to defend teen
  • accidental death

    Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
  • 18 uses of profanity, two of them by a teen
  • one use of the most foul of the foul words
  • father-daughter animosity
  • self-aggrandizing
  • aggressive attitude that endangered an infant
  • vulgar gesture and expression
  • woman admitting she aborted her baby
  • 15 year old girl traveling for days with older teen boy and adult man

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 30 out of 100
  • shadows of making out
  • dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure
  • public display of affection
  • woman in shower
  • sexual assault, twice
  • teen boy and girl on bed
  • attempted sexual conquest
  • stills of pornography
  • rude gaze
  • teen girl offering to live with adult man
  • innuendo re: sexual performance
  • man and woman in shower together
  • miscarriage due to previous abortion
  • nude woman on a bed mostly uncovered
  • boy on girl, implied intercourse

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 45 out of 100
    • admission of teen drunkenness, twice
  • smoking, repeatedly
  • bar
  • beer
  • drinking, twice

    Offense to God (O) - 67 out of 100
  • four abuses of God's name, all by a teen
  • divorce

    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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