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A service to His little ones (which includes at-home teens) through you, their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word
Analysis Date: July 18, 2003
CAP Score: 32 out of 100
CAP Influence Density: 1.61
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(2003), PG-13 -- ... since when has immorality been considered ...
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Radar Pictures Inc.
Distribution (US): New Line Cinema
Director(s): Clare Kilner
Producer(s): Toby Emmerich, Ted Field, Mathew Hart, Erica Huggins, Scott Kroopf, David Linde, Stephanie Striegel, William Teitler, Chris Van Allsburg, Michele Weiss
Written by/Screenplay: Sarah Dessenv (novels Someone Like You and That Summer), Neena Beber (screenplay)
Cinematography/Camera: Eric Alan Edwards
Music: David Kitay
Film Editing: Shawna Callahan, Janice Hampton
Casting: Avy Kaufman
Production Design: Dan Davis
Art Direction: Andrew M. Stearn
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
Halley Martin (Mandy Moore) is disgruntled at her parents' divorce [Mal. 2:16] that is to happen on the same day her older sister Ashley (Mary Catherine Garrison) is to get married [1Cor. 7:2]. Raising all shields and insulating herself from the world, Halley is approached by Macon Forester (Trent Ford) with the intent to build a relationship with her, even if it is "just good friends." Strange it is how Hollywood always seems to make "just good friends" teen relationships end up as sexual.
Halley has her shields up but Macon "uses the Force" to employ Jedi(tm) mind tricks on her to penetrate her shields and beam aboard [Matt. 5:28]. If you let your children see this movie (as did many parents on opening night) be prepared for exposing them to many forms of sexual immorality and amoral attitudes toward it [Luke 17:2], including inappropriate touch [1 Cor. 7:1 - 2], teen intercourse out of wedlock and pregnancy by it and attempts at it. If you let your children see this show, be prepared for a yet more "new age enlightened" attitude in your kids of increased tolerance toward immoral sex [1 Cor. 15:33, 1 Cor. 6:18], especially when you are not physically with them. And, for some of the kids in the audience on opening night, they know about sexual immorality before they know what sex is.
All display of sexual immorality is justified, of course, by Halley's refusal to let Macon get to home plate [Rom. 16:17 - 18]. Apparently the writers believe that Halley letting Macon get to first base, second base and third base is acceptable, of course, as long as he does not get to home plate. Toward the end of the show Halley's shields are down to about 20%, not likely to withstand another direct hit. And Macon's phasers are at 100% with all dilithium crystals fully intact. I know this is a crude way to describe the theme of the show but it is much less crude than the show itself -- just to give you an idea of the caliber of it. Though no crimes are committed (except underage drinking and drunkenness), since when has immorality been considered when legality is determined?
Mrs. Martin (Allison Janney) is ignorantly (maybe) passing on to Halley her bitterness toward and about her absent, soon-to-be ex-husband. And Halley is absorbing the bitterness. Incorporating it. Using it. And passing it on to anyone with whom she interfaces. Never-gown-up dad, Len Martin (Peter Gallagher), local DJ and radio personality is not helping matters by getting remarried to the stereotype of the much younger "ditzy blonde." Even dope-smoking Grandma (Nina Foch) fuels the fires in Halley.
While How to Deal has some good things to say with accuracy to reality I am going to ignore them since they were apparently token just to give some sort of connectivity with the teen arrogance and immorality. Even Satan mixes the Truth with lies just to pull us away from the Truth a little at a time. And what better way to convince us that immorality is not really immoral after all than to present it in and as entertainment as everyday, run-of-the-mill, expected and even acceptable behavior day in and day out, year after year after year, progressively immoral each year? [Ps. 12:8] Halley's best friend, Scarlett (Alexandra Holden), who is so enamored by one of high school's jocks she lets him have his way with her, ends up pregnant. Or maybe he let her have her way with him? Who knows? And who can tell in these modern episodes of entertainment pansexualism. And what purpose the pregnancy subplot had to the theme is ambiguous at best. If it were left out entirely, nothing would have been lost. But that is quite often true for almost any ignominy included in popular entertainment.
In addition to the rampant sexual immorality, How to Deal presents repeated instances of teen drinking and drunkenness. smoking dope by a grandmother, a teen screaming at her mother and verbally battering her into submission (and her mother yielding), calling her father a hypocrite and a loser with "I hate him. I HATE him!" [Prov. 20:20] and teens sneaking out all hours of the night to get what they way. [Prov. 22:15]
That is just a few of the issues you may want to be aware of (and God's Word about some of them) before letting your teens watch this movie. The long list in the Findings/Scoring section itemizes the findings.
Remember, mom/.dad. We tell you about the issues of which the MPAA, advertisers, promoters, etc., don't or won't tell you so you can be in a better position to make an informed decision whether a film is fit for your kids or not *before* setting through it. Sometimes a movie like this one is quite vulgar and we do our best to tell you about it without being vulgar ourselves. Often that is very difficult. But we will not simply tell you "It was vulgar" or "It was unfit" and expect you to accept it. Besides, that is not my decision to make for your kids. We tell you what is there -- you decide whether it is acceptable or not. The positive features of a film, which many indeed do present, are for your discovery lest we spoil the entire film.
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***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.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Sexual Immorality (S)
Offense to God (O)
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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.|