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


Click on CAPCon Alert
image for explanation
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
Analysis Date: May 23, 2003
CAP Score: 29 out of 100
CAP Influence Density: 1.27

MinMax: --84

Give your visitors clear access to ALL CAP movie analyses. Put the link above on your web page. FREE! Click it to test it and to see what you will get!

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.

NO processing fees if you do not want to pay them.
All donations are tax deductible.
To subscribe to (or unsubscribe from) our FREE text-only versions of our Entertainment Media Analysis Reports as they are calculated, visit our Mailman. If you experience difficulty with Mailman, send us your request. Your email address will NOT be given or sold to other parties.


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 --Steve Tobias (Michael Douglas) has other plans ... and other plans.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Franchise Pictures, Further Films, Gerber Pictures, Glen Films, Warner Bros.
Distribution (US): Warner Bros.
Director(s): Andrew Fleming
Producer(s): David Coatsworth, Bill Gerber, Elie Samaha, Joel Simon, Andrew Stevens, Bill Todman Jr.
Written by/Screenplay: Andrew Bergman, Nat Mauldin, Ed Solomon
Cinematography/Camera: Alexander Gruszynski
Music: Lalo Schifrin
Film Editing: Mia Goldman, Heather Persons
Casting: Pam Dixon Mickelson, Diane Kerbel
Production Design: Andrew McAlpine
Art Direction: Dennis Davenport
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6, Granbury, Texas

Six people on a beach. That is all Melissa Peyser (Lindsay Sloane) wants for her wedding. But her future father-in-law, Steve Tobias (Michael Douglas) has other plans ... and other plans. Divorced future mother-in-law Judy "the only good thing about [Steve] is his performance in bed" Tobias (Candice Bergen) and Steve wanted a bigger and fancier wedding. Husband-to-be, Mark Tobias (Ryan Reynolds) doesn't care much one way or the other, he just wants to get married. Melissa's dad, Dr. Jerry Peyser (Albert Brooks), a mild-mannered podiatrist, just wants his little girl to have a memorable wedding while mother, Katherine Peyser (Maria Ricossa) is just trying to keep the peace.

But peace is not to be found. The second tier of "other plans" of future father-in-law, Steve is service as a CIA operative swinging an arms deal for nuclear fissile material in connection with preventing bad guy French smuggler, Jean-Pierre Thibodoux (David Shef) from getting his hands on a Russian nuclear submarine submerged in Lake Michigan. How a nuclear submarine got into Lake Michigan is not explained. But then logic is not a strong suit of this movie

Steve is on the run from everyone: the FBI who say he was a CIA operative who was fired and has gone renegade; the bad guys who are trying to thwart Steve's plans to thwart Thibodoux's plans; others. As the bad guys close in, Steve and his junior associate, Angela Harris (Robin Tunney), who feels she is ready to take charge, enlist the reluctant aid of Dr. Peyser in their spy guy efforts to save the world. Dr. Peyser whines and screams at every turn of the spy games until he becomes somewhat acclimated to his new "volunteer" duties. Dr. Peyser becomes "Fat Snake" with Tobias to act as another smuggler/spy in whom Thibodoux develops sexual interest ... graphically ... and ends up in a hot tub with Peyser who was wearing only thong underwear.

And all comes to bear on the wedding day at the hour of the wedding.

While a duty-conscious father (Steve) realizes that over the years he has neglected his son in the name of duty, this film is filled with middle school locker room expressions and behaviors, some quite vulgar and obscene [Eph. 5:4]. There are many sexual innuendoes and comments such as "I still hate you, but I do have a room back at the club." [Judy to Steve] and KC & The Sunshine Band singing "Get Down Tonight" with "Do a little dance. Make a little love. Get down tonight." And while Steve occasionally announces his belief in God by calling on Him or giving Him credit, God's name is used in vain often though never with the four letter expletive [Deut. 5:11]. Note also that there are at least two religions represented (plus Eastern meditation) and none includes Jesus.

As Christians, we are to spread the Gospel which promises eternal life in Paradise by faith in the Sacrifice of Jesus for our sakes by simply asking forgiveness of our sins believing that Jesus is Lord and resurrected Savior who died that we may have eternal life in Paradise. While many are quite accepting of religions that do not embrace Jesus, I am very reluctant to say anything such as "to each his own" because if we encourage a religion that rejects Jesus are we not encouraging rejection of Him? We are free to worship God as we wish. The Constitution guarantees that. But I love each of your too much to encourage anyone to adopt or continue a faith which rejects Jesus. I will not do so [Rom. 1:16]. For one reason. Rejecting Jesus means eternity in Hell. Period. [Mark 6:16; Acts 4:12] There! I've said it. Chastise me if you wish but I will not situationally redefine, counterfeit or conditionally apply the Word of He who spent three days in Hell so you and I would not have to spend one moment there just so this service will appeal also to they who chose not to believe in Jesus. This is a Christian ministry. CHRISTian. The Dogma doctrines of "It does not matter what you have faith in so long as you have faith" and "No denomination has nailed it yet" are wrong and misleading. Eternally. [Luke 8:12; John 3:17; Acts 16:30- 31]

While the plot is noble in cause, additional sexual vulgarities include poor attempts at humor with joking about body parts (and size) and about intercourse, homosexuality and other sexual behaviors [1Ths. 4:2-5, Rom. 1:26 - 27, 1Cor. 6:9-10]. (Again, this is a Christian service. If you do not like what we have to say, don't visit our pages.) Thibodoux energetically tells us homosexuality is disgusting while constantly pursuing a sexual relationship with Dr. Peyser, including a homosexual kiss. Admitted sexual immorality of Mark with the bridesmaid prior to becoming a groom doesn't seem to matter much to the bride (after the initial shock), thus emboldening the popular attitude that sexual purity is a disease rather than a thing of courage and fortitude. Not a good signal at all for the rating's target age stratum where it seems as though it is becoming harder and harder for them to keep their pants on than it is to take them off. Just because the liberals and hedonists of SIECUS tell us it is normal and healthy to sexually experiment as adolescents does not support an 18- year commitment resulting from such experimentation. We all make poor choices form time to time. No exceptions. No debate. But that does not excuse the emboldening of poor choices by presentation of them in and as entertainment.

Violence in The In-Laws was heavy. Gunfire murder to the head. Gunfire to kill repeatedly. Kidnapping. Threats with firearms to the head. Assault with the intent to kill or do bodily harm. Beatings. Torturous threat to kill with attempted murder. [Prov. 3:31-32] And the three/four letter word vocabulary was not ignored nor was the most foul of the foul words though only once. [2 Tim. 2:16 - 17, Col. 3:8].

All for the entertainment pleasure of your 13 year old children.

There is much more to The In-Laws. Please consider reading the listing n the Findings/Scoring section before you decide whether to let your little ones see this R-13 film.

SPECIAL NOTE: We will be reducing the volume of coverage in the Summary/Commentary section of our reports and the number of reports generated in an effort to reduce costs until full funding can be achieved. The Findings/Scoring section of each report, the heart of the analysis model, will NOT be reduced in any way.

Thank you for your patience as we diligently search for funding. Anyone who wishes to volunteer to help us locate 501(c)(3) nonprofit funding and sponsors is encouraged to notify me.


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.

  • Eph. 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. [I call attention to Ps. 12:8 and Eph. 5:4 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of this sort of "entertainment" and just to let you know that God knows about "vulgar" and "obscene."]
  • 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 AND the misuse of Jesus' name.]
  • Rom. 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth [in forgiveness through faith in Jesus]...
  • Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned [eternity in Hell].
  • Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other [than Jesus]: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
  • Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned [eternity in Hell].
  • Luke 8:12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
  • John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.
  • Acts 16:30 - 31 And brought them [Paul and Silas] out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
  • 1Ths. 4:2-5 For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God;
  • Rom. 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: Rom. 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.
  • 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...
  • Prov. 3:31-32 Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways, for the LORD detests a perverse man but takes the upright into his confidence.
  • 2 Tim. 2:16 - 17 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker...
  • 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."]
  • 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 (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, situationally redefine, counterfeit, conditionally apply] 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.


    The In-Laws (2003) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • arms dealing
  • action violence, repeatedly
  • flight to avoid lawful arrest
  • gunfire to kill, repeatedly
  • aiding a felon
  • kidnapping
  • attempted gunfire murder, repeatedly
  • threat to kill, repeatedly, many with a firearm to the head
  • admission of murder of wife (misogyny)
  • beating, repeatedly
  • knife threat

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • 17 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • single use of the most foul of the foul words
  • Lies about profession
  • woman in men's room
  • lie to mask behavior
  • lie to protect self

    Sex/Homosexuality (S)
  • dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure, repeatedly
  • exhibitionism
  • sexual talk, innuendo of many types
  • women as toys
  • homosexual implications, suggestions, mannerisms, behaviors, talk, repeatedly
  • homosexual kiss
  • gay dress
  • brief thong nudity, male
  • homosexual pursuit
  • admission of sexual immorality
  • excessive cleavage

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drunkenness, repeatedly
  • drinking, repeatedly
  • smoking dope
  • drugging to subdue
  • drugging to render unconscious

    Offense to God (O)
  • 12 uses of God's name in vain but without the four letter expletive
  • religions without Jesus

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • gunfire murder by head shot

  • Please help keep this free service free by making generous tax-deductible donations to the CAP ministry (TIN: 75-2607488) by visiting Network for Good to give a tax-deductible monthly gift of $5, $10 or even $25 or greater or to make generous one-time or semi-regular donations.


    NO processing fees it you do not want to pay them!!!
    Donations to the CAP Ministry are Tax Deductible!!!

    Or feel free to send your gift(s) by check or money order in US dollars to:

    CAP Ministry, PO Box 177, Granbury, TX 76048-0177

    Thank you each for your support of this ministry. Please be in earnest prayer for funding that we may continue for many years and to keep this free service free.

    Please visit our sponsor:


    And please visit also these reciprocal links.


    Christian Media News

    A Singles
    Christian Network

     Click Here for a Quality Christian Site

    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.

    Join Christian Banner Exchange Network Today!

    The ChildCare Action Project (CAP) is a nonprofit Christian ministry. We rely on public support. If you wish to contribute to the CAP, please send your donations to
    ChildCare Action Project
    Post Office Box 177
    Granbury, TX 76048-0177

    Your gifts are tax deductible in accordance with Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Tax Codes. Please feel free to write to us.

    You are welcome to go to the
    CAP Reports page
    or go to the
    Top of the CAP Home Page
    or the
    CAP Site Map (Table of Contents)
    or leave me an email message or comment at

    Thank you for visiting us and may God bless you. Prayerfully, we will provide you with some of the most revealing commentary and investigative reporting you have ever read.

    In the name of Jesus:
    Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.

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

    Copyright ChildCare Action Project (CAP) Ministry

    Since December 5, 2000