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



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Anywhere But Here (1999), (PG-13)
CAP Score: 53
CAP Influence Density: 1.37
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*Anywhere But Here* (PG-13) -- I certainly lost respect for Natalie Portman.

Ann August (Natalie Portman), a 14 year old was little more than a teen malcontent. This part for Portman was a departure from her success with the style of maturity and strength she portrayed in Star Wars: Episode I, but yet a style so much the rage for teenage movies nowadays. Adele August (Susan Sarandon, Ann's mother), who forced Ann to do things that loving and wise mothers maybe should not force their daughters to do [Eph 6:4], is little more than an over-aged teenager portraying the almost least possible role of motherhood. It seemed the mother-daughter love shared was manufactured as a self-serving mother tried to mentor a self-serving daughter: that the love was not so much love as it was co-dependency with more of the "co" by the daughter and more of the "dependency" by the mother.

The CAP final score of 53 for *Anywhere But Here* is one point under the upper cell boundary for scoring earned by R movies of 1995/96 (55 starts the PG-13 cell). So, this was a "lite" R movie, which makes (for the lack of a better expression) "sense" since the programming now encompassed by PG-13 movies used to be rated R. *Anywhere But Here* contained enough arrogance [Prov 6:17], rebellion [1Sam 15:23; Deut 5:16], language [Eph. 5:4], and sexual material [Matt 6:23] for the Impudence/Hate (I) and Sex/Homosexuality (S) Investigation Area scores to be equivalent to R-rated programming of 1995/96. Indeed, the ignominy in these two of the six CAP Investigation Area scores were almost 100% of the reason for the CAP score.

Teenage arrogance and rebellion against a mother's authority was rampant, which is typical for PG and PG-13 movies. Now do you wonder why so many teens are so much more rebellious against parents than as recent as ten years ago? I am certain there are a lot of folks who do not believe that entertainment media influence their kids. To that I ask why, then, is there such a push for banning of cigarette and liquor advertising on TV commercials? By the way, since there is so much concern for what influences our kids in commercials, why is there no apparent concern for what goes on between the commercials? [Ps. 101:3]

I would like to bring up front an atypical device of the entertainment industry. This movie presented a big ole kindly Irish cop (Michael Milhoan, of course Irish cops are kindly, that a big chunk of me is Irish is beside the point) performing *true* police work -- using love and concern with wisdom to defuse an argument between the girl and her mother with due authority and consequences clearly understood. Fathers could take example from that. That the movie portrayed that it is acceptable for a daughter to argue with her mother was the token attempt to counter this very positive and quite welcome weller of humble and thankful eyes. Hats off to Michael Milhoan for a good good job. Maybe the writers wrote it, but Michael performed it, and performed it well.

So many of our visitors seem to be relying only on this Summary/Commentary for a full assessment of this movie. This is not possibble. For the best representation of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie, visit the Findings/Scoring section below.

FINDINGS / SCORING: Anywhere But Here (1999) CAP Thermometers

NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below are likely.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • Theft of long distance phone call
  • vandalism

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • "Sometimes I hater her..."
  • dysfunctional marriage
  • ten uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary, twice by a teen
  • a mother dumping her 14 year old daughter out in the desert
  • a mother forcing her own agenda onto her daughter, using the daughter as a tool and failing to see OR care about her daughter's pain.
  • "I hate you" from a daughter to her mother
  • lies to gain advantage
  • temper tantrum
  • a sister invading parental authority
  • "Get your big [blank] out of bed" from daughter to mother
  • "You embarrassed me in front of my friends"
  • an extremely odd father
  • argument with cop

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • encouraging daughter to show off her "cute little body"
  • sexual talk between boy/girl cousins
  • immoral sex, and admitting it to daughter
  • family arguments with hateful words
  • sex telephone call by teen
  • sexual experimentation by teens
  • teen male undressing to underwear for a teen girl
  • a teen girl telling the boy to bring his underwear to her plus implied loss of innocence

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • teen smoking
  • drinking
  • drunkenness

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • cursing God's way
  • 18 uses of God's name in vain, twice with the four letter expletive

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • none noted

  • (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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    Thomas A. Carder
    ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

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