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Keeping the Faith (2000), (PG-13)
CAP Score: 46
CAP Influence Density: 1.00
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NOTE: We make no scoring allowances for Hollywood's trumped-up "messages" to excuse, or its manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth. 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 purely objectuve and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.
SUMMARY / COMMENTARY:
*Keeping the Faith* (PG-13) -- but not in Jesus.
This was a movie about some trials of a couple men of faith in God -- a Catholic Priest and a Jewish Rabbi. While I can understand and accept that the Rabbi and the Jewish Synagogue would not present items of Christian faith, I find it quite strange why the Priest and the Catholic church in this movie seemed to subdue and even excluded Jesus. The Catholic Church would not exist if it were not for the birth of Christ. Even managing nuns who typically wear the Cross on their rosaries were absent. The only time Jesus' name was mentioned was in vain and with disrespect. There were no crucifixes, no Crosses, and no statues of Jesus -- not even a picture. I wonder how many, if any, large Catholic churches do not have at least one statue or other icon of Jesus in the church, even a small one or at least the Crucifix displayed? Why would the mainstream media want to exclude Jesus from a movie with Catholicism? Is there a signal in this? I could have missed something but I doubt it. If anybody who chooses to see this movie sees any imagery of Jesus or hears of His Sacrifice in the movie beyond a token under-the-breath mention or two, please let me know and I'll modify this report.
FOLLOWUP: A few readers have written and told me of at least a cross on Brian's bed (why on his bed and not on the alter is known only to the writers) and a statue of Jesus outside the church. Still, this seems a little subdue for a church which gloifies Jesus -- maybe even token. But then, the story was not about Jesus nor was it about the church. But it did include a priest!? Is he to not even speak of Jesus? Oh, well.
Brian (Edward Norton), the Priest and Jake (Ben Stiller), the Rabbi are best-est buddies with Anna (Jenna Elfman) from childhood. After a short presentation of Brian being drunk, the story regresses into his childhood and explains rather effectively how the three became close. But as many love stories go, the trio suffered a tragedy as Anna had to leave due to dad's job. My oldest boy can certainly empathize -- when I worked as a consultant, he had to live in six different states in three years. And this was at about the same age as Anna, Brian and Jake.
Brian and Jake were stricken with the loss of Anna. Then, as the story moves on, Brian and Jake eventually part company and go in different paths but yet the same. Both went into service to God but one with Jesus and one without. Anna becomes a very successful business lady who showed an obsession with her cell phone.
After a number of years, Brian gets a most unexpected call -- Anna has come to New York on a business trip and wants to get together with the two guys one more time. But this time, the innocence of youth is gone. As contemporary movies invariably go, the relationships between Anna and the guys becomes sexual.
But before Anna arrives, Jake's temple mothers try every way possible to get Jake to marry a "nice Jewish girl." So now, Jake's focus has been honed into a direction ripe for finding the right girl with whom to "settle down." Brian is committed to celibacy but the script speaks to him having sexual desires, giving an excuse to bring him into the sexual picture as well. And into the sexual picture they both are plunged, with Anna being the "target."
This movie is replete with sexual programming at almost every level. The Sex/Homosexuality Investigation Area was the lowest scoring of the six Investigation Areas -- well below zero numerically. Though there was no nudity noted, there was intercourse, undressed male/female co-occupation of a bed, cohabitation, sex play, sex talk, sex song, dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure, inappropriate touch....... the list goes on and is presented in the Findings/Scoring section of this report.
Some good notes are that there were no notable issues of violence or murder or suicide. But language [Eph. 5:4] and alcohol/drunkenness [Gal. 5:21] were clearly a threat to wholesome morals. And so was issues of offense to God which included the use of God's name in vain with and without the four letter expletive and a few snippets of insults to His sovereignty such as "God hates a solo artist." [Mark 12:30] God hates no one [John 3:16]. Period. His only hate is of sin and He tells us so [Proverb 6:16 - 19]. Oh yeah, there was a politically correct God expression, too: "...telling the Lord how much we love him...or her..." While it would be convenient to not necessarily think of God is one gender or the other, His Word says God, the Father and Him and He and His [John 4:23]. (I bet I get a lot of email on this one.)
I will let the Findings/Scoring section of this report tell the the full accounting of ignominy in *Keeping the Faith*.
FINDINGS / SCORING:
NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
Offense to God (O)(2):