ChildCare Action Project:
Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
The Stupids (1996)
CAP Score: 69
CAP ID: 0.56
Thomas A. Carder
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The Stupids was a humorous romp in the life of the Stupids family. While the movie was certainly entertaining and even funny, it was true to the CAP comparative baseline database findings for a PG movie (See CAP Methodology). The movie came in just over the demarcation between PG-13 and PG: at the bottom of the CAP scoring range for PG movies. Wanton Violence/Crime (W) painfully lost points due to unacceptable material such as illegal control with firearms, illegal sale of firearms, planning murder, attempted murder by graphic means, and endangerment of children. The findings in the Impunity/Hate (I) Investigation Area were surprisingly soft in comparison to the CAP comparative baseline database of movies.(1) Nonetheless, impunity was present in the form of children being portrayed as wiser than their parents and portrayal of the police as the 'bad guys.' Sex/Homosexuality (S) had about the same impact on the viewer as Impunity/Hate: the same CAP score. Sex/Homosexuality involved a man and a woman in bed, a boy looking up his mother's dress, showgirl clothing, talk of sexual matters, and exposing legs at near the crotch level. Drugs/Alcohol (D) was admirably soft since only one example was found: the use of drugs (ostensibly Chloroform) to control with the intent to murder. Offense to God (O) was saturated with the use of His name in vain, though without the three/four letter words typically used with God's name.(2) While The Stupids presented several examples of attempted murder, the movie was free of any examples of successful Murder/Suicide (M).(3)
All these examples of unacceptable behavior were convincingly couched in a warm and humorous setting -- the very effective means of the entertainment media to lower the threshold of acceptability..
In accordance with the comparative baseline data, The Stupids was equivalent to R-rated material in Wanton Violence/Crime and Offense to God. It presented no material equivalent to PG-13 in accordance with the baseline database movies. The movie presented material equivalent to PG material in Impunity/Hate and Sex/Homosexuality. The Stupids was equivalent to G-rated material in Drugs/Alcohol and Murder/Suicide. Thus, The Stupids was equivalent to the comparative baseline data corresponding to 33% R-rated material, 33 PG material, and 33% G-rated material.
Below is the table showing the scoring in each of the Investigation Areas plus the Final Score drawn from the actual CAP Report. In addition, the number of examples per hour of unacceptable material in each of the Investigation Areas is provided.
(1) As noted in CAP Special Report-0001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend" Impunity/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. I pray you will find time to read Special Report-0001. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.
(2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary is incorporated into the Impunity/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name in vain with and without the three/four letter word vocabulary is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area.
(3) Presentation of attempts to commit murder or suicide are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime. Only protrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide.
Additional reviews of this movie may be located at "Movie Review Query Engine at Telerama."
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Thomas A. Carder
ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)
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