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Movie Review

Because I Said So

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content including dialogue, some mature thematic material and partial nudity

Reviewed by: Lacey Mical (Callahan) Walker

Extremely Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens, Adults
Romance Comedy, Drama
1 hr. 42 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
February 2, 2007 (wide)
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Copyright, Universal Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Universal Pictures

How can I deal with temptations? Answer

Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

How far is too far? What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer

What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer

Sex, Love and Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Christian answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more. Valuable resources for Christian couples, singles and pastors.

What are the biblical guidelines for dating relationships? Answer

How can I tell if I’m getting addicted to pornography or sex? Answer

Featuring: Diane Keaton, Mandy Moore, Gabriel Macht, Tom Everett Scott, Lauren Graham
Director: Michael Lehmann
Producer: Norm Waitt, Scott Niemeyer, Paul Brooks
Distributor: Universal Pictures

“She’s just your normal, overprotective, overbearing, over-the-top mother.”

Catering entrepreneur Daphne Wilder is the single mom of three beautiful, grown daughters who comprise the nucleus of her life. Never having experienced a satisfying romance of her own, she is anxious to see that each of her tightly-knit brood is happily settled into a marriage.

Following a lovely montage of classic mother-and-daughter photos set to music, the film opens with a series of three wedding scenes involving the three Wilder sisters. First, Maggie (Lauren Graham) is married, followed by Mae’s (Piper Perabo) wedding, and then comes Milly (Mandy Moore) who is also dressed in white, but rather than following suit as the third bride, we find Milly cloaked in a caterer’s uniform and cheerfully assembling an elaborate wedding feast for one of the clients of her mother’s catering business. A distressing cell phone call from Mom, Daphne (Diane Keaton), interrupts her busy meal preparations. Daphne is calling to talk about the state of Milly’s love life, and the stage is set for this movie about a meddling mother who is obsessed with helping the daughter who is most like her to not end up like her: alone.

After Milly is dumped by her boyfriend and left in a crying fit which resolutely ends in a declaration that she does not need a romantic relationship and that she wants to be “Just like you, Mom…,” Daphne’s determination turns to desperation and she secretly posts a want ad on the internet seeking the perfect suitor for her daughter, followed by a day-long screening session of applicants which she meets and interviews at a jazz cafe. After a parade of 16 ridiculous “Mr. Wrong’s,” Daphne is engaged in a pleasant conversation by the charming and affable young guitarist at the cafe, who has been looking on with curiosity. After Daphne explains the situation to an amused Johnny (Gabriel Macht), the two are interrupted by the arrival of candidate 17, handsome and accomplished architect Jason (Tom Everett Scott) who quickly becomes “Mr. Right” in Daphne’s eyes. She excitedly schemes with Jason for he and Milly to meet “by chance,” and dismissing Johnny’s piqued interest as another “irresistibly charming” man who would ultimately break her daughter’s heart, Daphne feels that she has finally solved her problem and offers prodding and encouragement from the sidelines as Milly and Jason begin a relationship.

The hitch: Johnny from the cafe has also found a way to meet Milly in spite of Daphne’s dismissal, and much to her mother’s dismay, Milly finds herself embroiled in relationships with both men.

While the basic premise of this story is somewhat palatable and could have blossomed into a charming mother and daughter story, what was ultimately produced was a series of worn-out jokes, base sexual humor, and eye-rolling slapstick comedy.

I was surprised and somewhat disappointed to see Diane Keaton grossly over-acting in her role, to the point that her character appeared ridiculous. It is indicated in the trailers for this movie that Daphne is a sort of “every girl’s mom,” yet who we meet instead is a flailing, squawking woman who is humored by her daughters as they wink behind her back, and she ultimately only helps them by stepping out of the way and allowing them to ignore her mis-advice. The character was wholly unlikable and irritating, yet I don’t believe that is what was intended by the filmmakers.

Mandy Moore gives an unremarkable performance as Milly, a character who is also difficult to like or empathize with as she carries on an always stilted relationship with temperamental and somewhat rude Jason at the same time as she forms a soul-mate connection with likeable and understanding Johnny, who is also a single dad. While neither man knows she is dating the other, they both introduce her to their families (including Johnny’s young son) and both seem to envision a long-term relationship with her. Milly is also sleeping with both men, and discusses this with her sister and mothers, who offer no dissenting advice but seem to quite enjoy this back-and-forth frolic as Milly selfishly tries to make up her mind about which man she will break up with.

Lauren Graham’s role as sister Maggie epitomizes the term “cliche” as she is a doctor of psychiatry who counsels a trembling man laying on the inevitable prop couch offering up a stream of pathetic complaints about bullying in his childhood and threatening suicide at every turn. There are a few such scenes in the movie, and this proverbial dead horse has been beaten so many times I wonder when Hollywood will tire of it as audiences have.

Morality Issues


(This list is merely a “highlight reel” of the extensive sexual content.)

There are multiple scenes of various couples in bed engaged in sexual activity. There is no explicit nudity, but very suggestive sound and movement.

There is an inordinate amount of sexual dialog among the mother and three daughters throughout the entire film, including talk of orgasms and of circumcision. Daphne asks Milly what an orgasm feels like, and Milly awkwardly details and acts out a lengthy description.

During a scene in which the mother and daughters are at a spa receiving massages, the female masseuse make numerous crude sexual remarks in an Asian language, which are subtitled.

Several elderly couples begin to kiss after seeing a romantic display between Milly and one of her suitors, including two elderly women who passionately kiss one another.

Daphne and her daughters are shown in at the spa preparing for their massages, and the three younger women are all in bras and panties while Daphne is in a shirt and her panties. The camera zooms in and pans over each of the women’s buttocks and they remain on camera in their underwear throughout a gratuitous scene which seemed never ending as my husband kept his face turned away.

Johnny’s very young son says to women “You have a [clinical term for female anatomy] and I have a [clinical term for male anatomy].” He also asks Milly, “Can I see it?” This behavior is never corrected, only met with smiles and laughter.

When Daphne goes on-line in search of a site on which to post her want ad for Milly, she mistakenly stumbles onto an internet pornography site which begins playing a pornographic video. We see non-explicit scenes from the video, and hear very explicit sound effects as she nervously scrambles to try to turn it off, which she is unable to do for some time. Meanwhile, her dog who seems disturbed by the audio begins “humping” the ottoman. Later, Daphne returns to the site and sits watching the video until she is interrupted by a telephone call from one of her daughters.


During Daphne’s massage treatment, the masseuse climbs on top of her and grabs her head, jerking it upward and bending her backward. She screams in pain and cracking can be heard. This is not disturbing to older people, but unpleasant to watch.


6 sexual references, 7 anatomical terms, 1 mild obscenity, 1 term for homosexuals, 1 religious profanity, 20 religious exclamations (list found at Kids-in-Mind)

Bottom Line:

This film is an embarrassing display of classless, crude, and selfish behavior. I can find nothing redeeming in it on which to comment. Moral concerns aside, it was poorly scripted and largely over-acted, and the plot dragged quite slowly. I do not recommend it for any audience, and would have gladly fled the theater after the first ten or fifteen minutes had I not been obligated to write this review.

Violence: Minor / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Heavy

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer Comments
Comments below:


Negative—Although these actors have appeared in high-quality productions before, the script they were working with here was simply unredeemable. Even overlooking the (unnecessary) crude portions, this movie lacked artistic, entertainment, and moral quality. The physical, slapstick-style humor fell flat, and the man Milly dumps at the end really doesn’t seem all that bad. The characters don’t experience much growth, and their selfishness renders them unlikable. This could have been a cliche-yet-enjoyable film, but the writers took the storyline in the wrong direction.
My Ratings: Offensive / 2
—Janna Beth Cobb, age 22
Negative—My wife and I thought we’d go see this romantic comedy on opening night. Predictably enough, the audience laughed at all the “funny” parts. I just didn’t really see what was so comical about… how many times people were having sex while talking on their cell phones… the repressed 60 year old mother of three who has to ask her youngest (unmarried) daughter what an orgasm is like… the dog who watches internet porn and starts humping the furniture (I’m not kidding!)…the undisciplined 5 year old boy who introduces himself to women by saying “I have a penis, you have a vagina. Can I see it?” (and nobody even attempts correcting his behavior!)… the fact that Milly makes her decision about which of the 2 guys she should continue to sleep with based largely on a flopped souffle… or the two old ladies who kissed on the lips during the most romantic part of the movie. (OK, the audience didn’t laugh at that scene, instead there was a collective “eewww!”) “Because I said So” is billed as a romantic comedy. In my opinion, it was neither—but it is quite a penetrating commentary on how obsessed with sex our culture is.
My Ratings: Offensive / 3
—Les, age 53
Negative—I just wish I would have checked your Web site before I took my daughter to see this film. This movie was nothing but sex. You have Mandy Moore sleeping with 2 different men, scenes of both her sisters and her mother in sex scenes, and even Mandy Moore in bed with her boyfriend when his son walks in and catches them. There was one scene where God’s name was cursed for no reason. To top that off, you have her 60 year old mother on pornographic computer sites. This movie was nothing but smutty behavior.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 3
—Lori, age 43
Negative—One Friday night me and four other friends decided to go to the theaters. One of them recommends this movie saying that the previews looked cute. We were all in for a shocking surprise! This movie is beyond offensive. What mother asks her daughter about sex? Come on! That was it! My friend got up beside me and left the theater. I followed, and the others came behind me. We ended up going out to eat vowing to look at better reviews for movies than just the previews. What’s really sad is that this movie had potential to be real cute. I was really disappointed in the lack of acting ability and morality of Milly (Mandy Moore). I wouldn’t even rent this movie.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 1
—LeAnn, age 20
Negative—What a huge disappointment. I was looking forward to seeing Mandy Moore and Diane Keeton in a movie together. It was just as most of the movies are these days, trash. For women to play these kinds of roles with no morals at all for all of the teenagers in this country to see just blows my mind. I left the movie asking the Lord to forgive me for sitting through it. It’s rated PG-13 so that means all kids are seeing it. I saw it Friday, and it’s Sunday and I am still worrying about the effects of these kinds of movies of this generation coming up.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 1
—M. Armstrong, age 45
Negative—I read the reviews here for this movie and crossed it off my list. By mistake, I agreed to go to it with friends not realizing which movie we were going to. It was one of the worst (best?) displays of the depth into which our culture has descended. Sometimes I can conclude that some may think a particular movie is OK while others feel it is very inappropriate and both are justified for real reasons. This is the exception. The dialogue is all over the place, the sexual elements are crass and in one case abusive. I say that because in order to entertain us, a little boy asks a woman if he can see her vagina. How do we let ourselves get to this point? I closed my eyes and since it was late, managed to block a lot out. One particular example of the abandonment of morals is when a man finds out his girlfriend is dating another guy and sleeping with him. He wants to end the relationship and claims to the mother that this is common sense. Of course he gives in and in a “romantic” scene, tries to woo her back. She lowers her morals, he follows suit and we are supposed to think this is romance because she’s a great catch. You get the point.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 1½
—Bob MacLean, age 57
Negative—I have a 13 year old daughter, and I thought this would be a fun “mother/daughter” chick flick we could cozy up to. I made her leave the room after the first 5 minutes when the scene showed a very sexually active Minnie discussing the details of her latest sexual romp—with her mother on a cell phone. NOT at all a warm, fuzzy movie it was advertised to be. Unfortunately, it falls into the same worldly trap Hollywood wants it to be. NOT recommended.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 3
—Leigh, age 35
Negative—…turned movie off and returned to rental store after use of Lord’s name in vain, followed almost immediately by portrayal of sexual acts on lead actor’s computer. Tacky and cheap through the 10 minutes or so that we (wife and I) watched it. Does Hollywood not get it? Taking the Lord’s name in vain is non-acceptable to all those who believe in Him.
My Ratings: Extremely Offensive / 1
—John Baker, age 60
Comments from young people
Negative—My Mom, sister, and I were all ready to enjoy a light-hearted movie about a controlling mother and her daughter. We should have stopped the thing within the first ten minutes (maybe even sooner, I don’t remember). The whole movie was saturated with sex talk or the act of sex. Sure, there were some really funny moments and some sweet mother daughter moments, but all the good and clean and funny parts of the movie were overshadowed with all of the sexual content. It got even worse when they added the little boy who started talking about a woman’s privates. The movie deserved an R, not a PG-13. If you’re okay with people talking constantly about private parts and sex, then this is a great movie, but for those of you who are easily offended… stay away.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 5
—Aly Moy, age 16