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(2004), PG-13 [R-13]
Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
September 3, 2004
45 out of 100

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

(2004), PG-13 [R-13] ...filled with coincidences that could happen only in the movies.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Lakeshore Entertainment, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Distribution (US): Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Distributing Corporation (MGM)
Director(s): Paul McGuigan
Producer(s): Andre Lamal, Gary Lucchesi, Tom Rosenberg, Henry Winterstern
Written by: Gilles Mimouni (film L'Appartement), Brandon Boyce, (screenplay)
Cinematography/Camera: Peter Sova
Music: Michael A. Levine, Cliff Martinez
Film Editing: Andrew Hulme
Casting: Deborah Aquila, Mary Tricia Wood
Production Design: Richard Bridgland
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6

The entertainment industry has made a finely-tuned science of determining what the market wants in their films. One might even say they know more about what we want in and as entertainment than we do. At least they seem to think they so or at least want us to think so. If Wicker Park is any kind of product of such market research and since CAP analysis of films reveals the targeting concentration(s) of assaults on morality and ethics, it would seem that our young teens hunger for foul language, arrogance, defiance of wholesome morality, etc. (Impudence/Hate - I), sex (Sexual Immorality - S), the use of God's name in vain (Offense to God - O), most often in the form of the three-syllable sentence with God's name trailing it and a liberal splashing with booze (Drugs/Alcohol - D). This film is an ISdO film, which apparently is not an unusual pattern for PG-13 [R-13] films.

We have developed a new descriptor of the content of films using the CAP analysis model. Above I termed Wicker Park an ISdO film. This means that by the scoring distribution (see the CAP Thermometer data display for this film) the greatest concentrations of assaults on morality and decency in Wicker Park are in Impudence/Hate - I, Sexual Immorality - S, Drugs/Alcohol - D and Offense to God - O as defined by a score equal to or less than 75. If an investigation area score reveals a concentration by a score of 50 or less, its descriptor initial will be represented in upper case. If an investigation area score reveals a concentration by a score from 51 to 75 its descriptor will be lower case. Wicker Park earned a score of zero in Impudence/Hate, zero in Sexual Immorality, 63 in Drugs/Alcohol and 11 in Offense to God. Thus, ISdO.

Chicago ad agency executive, Matthew (Josh Hartnett) is set to become betrothed to his boss's sister, Rebecca (Jessica Paré). Just before the knot-tying, Matthew was to go to China for a very lucrative deal. But he never left. Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.

While getting things ready to disembark for China and in a restaurant with his boss, Rebecca and the Chinese representatives, Matthew spied who he believed to be Lisa (Diane Kruger) from two years ago. But suddenly after building a strong relationship with Lisa, she just disappeared. Lisa was the one who made him feel it is sad to belong to someone else when the right one comes along ["Sad To Belong", England Dan & John Ford Coley ].

In a daze of old love starting to blaze again, Matthew tried to hide from Rebecca in the restaurant phone booth but found Lisa using it. Unsure what to say to reignite the old flame in her, Matthew merely keep incognito by ducking into the men's room until Lisa left. In a mad dash to leave the restaurant, Lisa broke one of the heels of her high-heeled shoes. What a coincidence! Lisa lost her compact in the restaurant phone booth. Matthew decided to use it as an excuse to confront Lisa.

In Matthew's attempts to locate Lisa and rekindle the old flame, Matthew met Alex (Rose Byrne) after breaking into her apartment, Number 679, thinking it was Lisa's apartment to return her compact to meet with her face-to-face. After almost calling the police, Alex invites Matthew to spend the night with her. And he does. Lisa, who claimed to be a nurse, started focusing on Matthew with overtones of fatal attraction.

Coincidence number 2. Luke (Matthew Lillard), long-time-no-see buddy of Matthew during his relationship with Lisa (a friendship which also suffered a two-year break), worked at the same shoe store Lisa shopped to replace her broken shoe. Coincidence number 3. Matthew had stopped by Luke's store to reminisce when whom should appear but Lisa. Now, Matthew, with Luke's support, feigns being a shoe salesman just to get close to Lisa. This film is filled with coincidences that could happen only in the movies. Why Lisa seemed to treat Matthew as if she had never met him I cannot explain.

I am sorry but every time I see Matthew Lillard in a film, whether a shoe store clerk or a big city boy going on an Oregon adventure (Without A Paddle), he is always going to be Norville 'Shaggy' Rogers.

The rest is up to your discovery should you decide this film is fit.

Consider, though, that this film utters profanity 23 times [Prov. 22:11], God's name in vain 20 times (twice with the four letter expletive) and the most foul of the foul words once [Col. 3:8]. This film presents a woman raising her legs before a shoe salesman, co-stripping for sex, making out in underwear, a woman stripping her chest (gender-specifics unseen) to seduce, a man and a woman in bed together nude (nudity unseen), after-intercourse images, cohabitation and more [1Ths. 4:3 - 7].

All for your 13 year old kids who are quite likely at the age least able to handle the fires ignited by such sin in sin-ema. And there is more. But I will leave itemization of them to the listing in the Findings/Scoring section - the heart of the CAP Analysis Model. Please read it before deciding whether to let your kids see this film. I say it again ... who do they MPAA think they are that they can dangle such a carrot in front of our kids. Does the term "stealing childhood from children" have more of a meaning to you now?


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.


  • Prov. 22:11 He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend.
  • Col. 3:8 But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.
  • 1Ths. 4:3 - 7 It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his [or her] own body [which includes control of drives, touching, seeking, lusting (even after images), promiscuity, etc.] in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • 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 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Rom. 5:19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change [warp, distort, falsely represent, situationally redefine, counterfeit, conditionally apply] 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.
    (The heart of the CAP Analysis Model)

    Wicker Park (2004) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • boyfriend threatening woman
  • unlawful entry, twice

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • one use of the most foul of the foul words
  • 23 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • rudeness
  • lying, repeatedly

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • cohabitation (unseen)
  • sexual innuendo
  • co-stripping for sex
  • making out in underwear
  • images suggesting intercourse
  • man and woman in bed together nude (genitals unseen)
  • photos of dressing to maximize the female form and/or skin exposure
  • stripping to expose nudity to seduce
  • open mouth kissing
  • implied intercourse
  • blurred flashbacks of intercourse
  • man and woman in bed together ostensibly after intercourse, twice
  • cohabitation for sex
  • bragging of sexually immoral practices and sexual conquest, repeatedly
  • man in shower
  • request to cohabitate
  • willingness to cohabitate for sex
  • man and woman in bed together making out nude (no gender-specifics seen)
  • adults in underwear together in bed ostensibly the morning after intercourse

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • booze
  • drunkenness
  • drinking

    Offense to God (O)
  • two uses of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and 18 without

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • none noted



    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.

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