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Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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UPDATED December 31, 2003
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|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.|
(2003), R -- And what a waste!
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Universal Pictures
Distribution (US): Universal Pictures
Director(s): Richard Curtis
Producer(s): Tim Bevan, Liza Chasin, Richard Curtis, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Duncan Kenworthy, Chris Thompson
Written by: Richard Curtis
Cinematography/Camera: Michael Coulter
Music: Craig Armstrong
Film Editing: Nick Moore
Casting: Mary Selway, Fiona Weir
Production Design: Jim Clay
Art Direction: Rod McLean, Justin Warburton-Brown
Well! A "Christmas story" with Jesus! Indeed, twice this film gives proper credit to the Reason for the season. Twice "baby Jesus" was spoken as part of the nativity scene play being presented by elementary school students. From England, no less! I am proud of Universal Pictures and Richard Curtis for being politically incorrect even if only for two brief moments. But I am not proud of them for the content of the rest of the show. I will explain. Regarding the immoral content, the film is nothing like the previews.
The story is of a number of individuals who find love starting at 5 weeks before Christmas, building to Christmas day. What a wonderful idea. The mixing of several different stories into one easy to follow package is masterful.
Single Prime Minister David (Hugh Grant) fell in love with one of his single aides, Natalie (Martine McCutcheon) who suffered moves made by the married US President (Billy Bob Thorton) on an international relations visit. Having realized the inappropriateness of a relationship with Natalie, Prime Minister David ended it by having Natalie dispatched out of his office. But the relationship did not stay that way. And not in one case I can remember does David and Natalie end up in bed together. But the same cannot be said for the rest of the yule lovers.
I think the first bedding done was by Harry (Alan Rickman) and his outstanding wife Karen (Emma Thompson). But they were fully clothed in nightwear with no sexual activity at all. The sexual activity came from (among others which I will reveal) Harry's secretary, Mia (Heike Makatsch) who had interests in Harry. And she advertised those interests by spreading her knees apart in front of him.
In Harry's office was Sarah (Laura Linney) who had amorous aims for fellow office worker, Karl (Rodrigo Santoro). She had been in "secret" love with Karl for more than two years. And everyone knew it. Even Karl. Harry even tried to coax Sarah into telling Karl of her affection for him. But Sarah was too timid to speak up. Karl required that she speak up if there was to be anything realized in her attraction to him. Eventually the two found reason to share their love ... in bed. But fortunately, Sarah was too addicted to answering her cell phone for there to be any thing beyond snuggling in their nuderwear (no, I did not misspell that).
In another subplot, lonely and forlorn writer Jamie (Colin Firth) fell in love with his Portuguese housekeeper, Aurelia (Lúcia Moniz) who spoke English as well as he spoke Portuguese. It took her stripping to her underwear to rescue his work blown into a pond by the wind to push him over the threshold of realizing he loved her.
Even the kids got into the love act in this film. A devoted and loving father, Daniel (Liam Neeson) lost his wife and left him with a young son, Sam (Thomas Sangster) about 10 years old who was in love with a beautiful and talented 10 year old singer in his school. Of course, these two 10 year old kids acted as though they were worldly and capable of being 30-year olds, well beyond their years, portraying persona unfair to the typical 10 year old who desperately wants to be older. What else is to be expected when dad teaches the 10 year old son all about love ... all about sex using street-level vulgar expletives and innuendo to do it What else is to be expected of a 10 year old when he is taught that immoral intercourse is the ultimate goal of a premarital love relationship?
There are other love stories but to tell you of them all would completely spoil the movie if you decide the filth and vulgarity are acceptable. And what a waste! A waste I tell you! Every single use of the three/four letter word vocabulary (all 15 of them), every use of the most foul of the foul words (all ten of them) [Col. 3:8; Prov. 22:11], every pornographic image of intercourse and oral sex with full and explicit detailed nudity AND positioning AND motions was absolutely unnecessary! Not one single sexual innuendo, comment, story or invitation or gesture was needed. Not one! [Gal. 5:19; 1Ths. 4:2-5; Rev. 21:8] This would have been a fully delightful, warm and witty romantic comedy without them. But n-o-o-o! It had to be ruined with tons of sexual immorality and filthy language. Even one secular reviewer said Love Actually should be acceptable for teenagers. [Luke 17:2} Wow! That is pushing immoral programming on to those least capable of managing the fires created by it. Now do you understand why I still analyze R-rated movies?
By the way, some time ago I told you about our attempts to gain access to as many pre-release screenings of films as possible so I could get to you the information for which so many of you come to our pages before a film is released. One very good way to do that would be by joining the Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association which coordinates screenings to all new releases available for screening. However, using religious discrimination (they are privately funded, they can do that) the president of it would not let me join because "religious organizations tend to say negative things about films." Duh! If films did not have negative things in them I would not tell you about them. It seems the film industry is afraid for you as mom/dad to know about the true content of films before they are made available to your kids. Let me share with you an email I sent out to our private distribution about this in the textbox below. Maybe you would like to voice your concerns to the film studios:
I've been discriminated against because of my Christian faith before and will be again I'm sure. But when films parade negative things for our kids (which includes at-home teens) I will tell you about them objectively as soon as I can so YOU can make an informed decision whether a film is fit. I will not disappoint DFW Film Critics Association and will continue to give you all the details about the content of films about which you have expressed a need-to-know for more than eight years. Unfortunately, before-release information can happen only seldom ... unless you make a big enough noise. I never thought it could be said but I feel like Ralph Nader a couple decades ago who published "Unsafe at Any Speed" about cars. Well, I'll tell you all about "unfit on any screen", just like Love Actual.
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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)
Single Christian Network
|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.|