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


Click on CAPCon Alert
image for explanation
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth through you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

Life or Something Like It (2002), PG-13
Analysis Date: April 26, 2002
CAP Score: 60
CAP Influence Density: 0.72

MinMax: -75

ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Table of Contents.

For FREE text-only versions of our media analysis reports as they are calculated, open this email then click "send." If your browser does not handle this URL format properly, send us a request to add you.

NOTE: 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.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

LIFE OR SOMETHING LIKE IT (PG-13) -- Yes, there is intercourse in this PG-13. Soap opera caliber...

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Director(s): Stephen Herek
Producer(s): Kenneth Atchity, John Davis (I), Toby Jaffe, Ric Kidney, Arnon Milchan, Jeffrey Wetzel, Chi-Li Wong, Teddy Zee
Written by/Screenplay: John Scott Shepherd (story), John Scott Shepherd and Dana Stevens (screenplay)
Cinematography/Camera: Stephen H. Burum
Music: David Newman
Film Editing: Trudy Ship
Casting: Sharon Bialy
Art Direction: Helen Jarvis

Chubby Lanie Kerigan grew up in a less-than-warm family. So she thought. She was not happy with herself and felt her sister was abusive of her. But time was good to Lanie who became a bright star for KQMO news of Seattle, Washington. So bright that AMUSA in New York was looking for a new "face" and Lanie's boss decided to submit her for the position. But, as with any formula story, a dark cloud found its Lanie-stationary coordinates directly over her head.

The dark cloud was prophet Jack (Tony Shalhoub), a local homeless man who had the gift of hearing God speak to him with news of events yet to happen. While I will not slight the idea of God giving the gift of prophesy to man, even a homeless man (John the Baptist was "homeless") -- God has given the gift of prophesy before and will probably do it again -- I do have a problem with the way the movie presented a prophet as a street corner quack preacher without credibility. The way to tell a true prophet from a false one is by the accuracy of his/her predictions. Only a true prophet will predict with 100% accuracy. 100% accurate unambiguously, not like the portrayal in *Life or Something Like it* which had the prophet soft-shoeing by saying "An angel will fall from the sky" to predict an Angels baseball player dying in a plane crash.

On a sidewalk interview assignment, Lanie interviewed prophet Jack who had three predictions. One, that a football game that afternoon will be won by the Seahawks 19 to 13, that it will hail the next morning when the weather forecasters predict clear skies and that Lanie will die the following Thursday. Well, the Seahawks win by 6 points in a decision by the referees that the opposing team's (I wish I could remember which team it was) "winning" touchdown carrier stepped outside the boundary.

So what that one prediction came true under precarious conditions? Anyone could guess that. Then the sobering blow came the next morning as hail pelted Lanie's balcony. Now Lanie is concerned and starts to contemplate her mortality. She begins to relish each moment of life. She dumps her shallow baseball star boyfriend, Cal Cooper (Christian Kane) and tries to set things right with her family and all those with whom she has experienced discord. One of them was "the I don't like to show look" Pete (Edward Burns). Pete is the ace cameraman for KQMC studios who has been assigned to partner with Lanie. Lanie and Pete had a falling out some time earlier and neither has kind words for the other. And there is another formula story -- falling outs being foreplay.

Yes, there is intercourse in this PG-13. Soap opera caliber with no nudity revealed but intercourse is undeniable implied as Pete starts to strip Lanie with the next scene showing the two in bed together, obviously nude under the sheets and his arm (and the rest of him) in a place not acceptable by God's standards for unmarried people [1Cor. 7:2]. Sexual improprieties, presences and innuendo almost rule the content of this movie. Following in a close second is Drugs/Alcohol as the writers have the characters depending on booze/drunkenness to drown sorrows and forcing booze to be the remedy for a hangover [1Cor. 6:9-10].

Next in the queue of ignominy is, of course, foul language [2Tim. 2:16, Deut. 5:11]. While these forms of ignominy in entertainment are condemning of the movie as any kind of wholesome entertainment, it is certainly lite in the areas of violence, crime and murder/suicide which there were none. Therein lies the utility of the CAP analysis model for the parent and grandparent: to reveal the areas of concentration of ignominy using Rock-solid standards of investigation, namely His teachings and expectations which DO NOT change with the tides of modern morality. The CAP thermometers, scoring distribution and listing of findings (the Findings/Scoring section) give you all the information you need to make an informed decision whether a film is fit your your kids and/or yourselves by your own standards of entertainment acceptability.

There is much more to the story but the purpose of this service is not to tell you all the details about a movie but is to tell you what you need to know about a movie without having to see it to make a decision whether it is fit or not. The listing in the Findings/Scoring section will provide that information. Any positive features of a movie are left up to you should you decide the level of ignominy revealed by the Findings/Scoring section is acceptable.


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.

  • 1Cor. 7:2 But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.
  • 1Cor. 6:9-10 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the [unforgiven] sexually immoral nor ... drunkards ... will inherit the kingdom of God.
  • 2Tim. 2:16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.

    *******Food for Thought*******
  • 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 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.

    Life or Something Like It (2002) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • gunfire with injury and blood

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • ten uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • one use of the most foul of the foul words
  • lie
  • portrayal that a ten year old child's knowledge and understanding of a sex song is a function of being ten years old with the parent thinking it's funny

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • adults in underwear
  • camera angle to force viewer on private parts
  • cohabitation for sex
  • sex talk admitting sexual immorality as if it is required or necessary
  • suggestive eye movement
  • excessive cleavage
  • long sex talk
  • requests for sex
  • offers of sex
  • man undressing woman for sex
  • man in bed with woman obviously after intercourse with inappropriate touch
  • gay appearance

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • smoking
  • drinking
  • drinking to drown sorrows
  • forcing booze as a remedy for a hangover
  • drinking to celebrate
  • bars

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • eleven uses of God's name in vain but without the four letter expletive
  • cheapening of prophesy

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

  • NOTE: None of the organizations in the images on this page are paying one cent for the space.

    Help us to stay active by making your purchases through...


    Christian Media News

    Entirety Management Services, Inc.

    Biblical based Management Consulting

    A Singles
    Christian Network

    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy 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 from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. 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.

    "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 nearly seven 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!

    (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.

    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
    Open a new page for the CAP Reports page: (NO FRAMES) OR  (FRAMES)

    or go to the
    Top of the CAP Home Page
    or the
    CAP 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