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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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(2011), PG [G-PG*] (1hr 55min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
October 6, 2011
October 7, 2011

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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2010), PG [G-PG*] ... One hundred and fifteen of the best minutes I have spent on a film.

Production (US): PureFlix Entertainment, Jenkins Entertainment
Distribution (US): PureFlix Entertainment
Director(s): Dallas Jenkins
Producer(s): Jerry B. Jenkins, Harold Cronk, Matthew Tailford, Cary Solmon, CHuck Konzelman, Russell Wolfe, David A. R. White, Michael Scott, Dallas Jenkins
Written by: Cary Solomon, Chuck Konzelman, Andrea Gyertson Nasfell
Story by: Dvid A. R. White, Michael Scott
Cinematography/Camera: Todd Barron
Music: Jeehun Hwang
Film Editing: Frank Reynolds
Casting: Billy Damota
Production Design: James R. Cunningham
Viewed on PureFlix Home Entertainment DVD

Ben Walker (Kevin Sorbo) left his girlfriend, Wendy Beiderman (Kristi Swanson) in the bus depot in Clearville on his way to a lucrative career in the big city as an investment banker for a large firm. Ben promised Wendy he would be back shortly, that it would be best for him to establish himself in the secular business world even though he was a good preacher.

Fifteen years later ... without Wendy ... Ben seals a deal that made him a partner of his firm and a wealthy man. In celebration of his promotion to partner Ben does two things: he asks Cynthia (Kristiin Minter) to marry him and go with him to Paris for the weekend (before marrying him) and buys a very expensive car. On an undefined ride to somewhere, just outside of his boyhood home of Clearville - how he got there he does not know -- Ben's brand new car sputters to a stop for no apparent reason. Not only does the car sputter to a stop, the steering wheel air bag inflates and knocks Ben unconscious. As Ben wakes up a strange man, a Christian man named Mike (John Ratzenberger) drives up with his tow truck and proceeds to hookup Ben's car for a tow to Clearville for repair. Mike is not your average tow truck operator. He claims to be an angel there to help Ben straighten out his life.

Suddenly, Ben Walker is no longer the wealthy Harvard graduate investment banker. He is Ben Walker, graduate of Moody Bible College, husband of Wendy and father to adolescent Megan (Taylor Groothuis) and teenage Kimberly (Debbie Ryan). God has intervened in Ben's empty life and thrust him into "a great what if...?" What if he had not left Wendy in the bus station?

There are a number of clever quips by Mike the angel. I would like to share one of them with you. Cynthia, Ben's girlfriend from his previous life as an investment banker, is now the girlfriend of Joel, one of the other firm executives. They obviously share an immoral lifestyle to which Mike comments that their application for weeping and gnashing of teeth will be approved. Of those not familiar with the Scriptures, weeping and gnashing of teeth is how existence in Hell is described.

I will not spoil any more of the story or plot in case, after you consider our analysis of it, you decide this film is fit for your family. With a final score of 97 the overall magnitude of the content of the film is fully G-equivalent. Even each of the six "fine tuning" CAP content investigation areas found the applicable contents to be G-equivalent. This film earned the rather rare green CAPCon Alert light which means that each of the six CAP content investigation area scores is 86 or above. One hundred and fifteen of the best minutes I have spent on a film.


Following are brief discussions of the content per individual content investigation area.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 88 out of 100
The only matters of the violence are two injuries leading to unconsciousness and two hits to the face.

Impudence/Hate (I) - 97 out of 100
If it were not for Kimberley showing disrespect to her parents this investigation area would have been 100 out of 100. [Exod. 20:12]

Sexual Immorality (S) - 97 out of 100
Ben planned a weekend in Paris with Cynthia after his promotion as a celebration of the promotion and for her agreeing to marry him. But they would not have been married if they had gone to Paris. Cohabitation while not married is sinful. [1 Cor. 7:1-2]

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 97 out of 100
There were no examples of possession of, consumption of or dealing in illegal drugs and no abuse of prescription drugs as well as not one cigarette, pipe or cigar. However, a bottle of champagne or other wine was noted on the nightstand in Ben's hospital room.

Offense to God (O) - 100 out of 100
Not once was God's name abused. And there were no findings of Satanism, occultism, demonism, spiritism, necromancy, witchcraft or anything of the kind in the entire 115 minutes of programming.

Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
There are no portrayals of murder or suicide in this film.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. 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.


  • Exod. 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you. [This is one of the Ten Commandments.]
  • 1 Cor. 7:1-2 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. ["Not to touch..." God is wise to rationalizations of man. "Touch" is haptomai {hap'-tom-ahee}; to touch; of carnal intercourse with a woman or cohabitation.]

    Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry

  • Jer. 37:9 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not!
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend what is vile, embrace it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it.]
  • 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 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*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 one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [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. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    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 objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    What if ... (2010) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 88 out of 100
  • two injuries resulting in unconsciousness
  • two hits to the face

    Impudence/Hate (I) - 97 out of 100
  • teen defiance of parents

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 97 out of 100
  • planning cohabitation before marriage

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 97 out of 100
  • one bottle of champagne or other wine

    Offense to God (O) - 100 out of 100
  • none noted

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
  • none noted

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    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 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.

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    * CAP Equivalence to MPAA Rating Scale:
    Please note our new manner of indicating a film's Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rating in comparison with the CAP equivalence such as "PG-13 [R-13]." The first term is the Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) rating. The second term [in brackets] indicates that which the film earned under the CAP analysis model. In the example, "PG-13 [R-13]" indicates the MPAA rated the film PG-13 but the film earned a CAP final score in the scoring range earned by R-rated movies in the comparative baseline database. Other comparative terms used might be "PG [13-PG]", "G [PG-G] or even 'PG-13 [PG]" as was the case for Alien vs Predator. I doubt there will ever be a "G [R]" used, but only time will tell. The CAP analysis model is Rock-solid. The MPAA is not.

    The current CAP to MPAA** nomenclature is:

    For G rated Films with
    G equivalence: G
    PG equivalence: PG-G
    PG-13 equivalence: 13-G
    R equivalence: R-G<
    For PG rated Films with
    G equivalence: G-PG
    PG equivalence: PG
    PG-13 equivalence: 13-PG
    R equivalence: R-PG
    For PG-13 rated Films with
    G equivalence: G-13
    PG equivalence: PG(13)
    PG-13 equivalence: PG-13
    R equivalence: R-13
    For R rated Films with
    G equivalence: G-R
    PG equivalence: PG-R
    PG-13 equivalence: 13-R
    R equivalence: R
    For NR rated Films with
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    PG equivalence: PG-NR
    PG-13 equivalence: 13-NR
    R equivalence: R-NR
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