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Movie Review

The Deep End of the Ocean

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language and thematic elements

Reviewed by: Christin Lockhart

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
105 min.
Year of Release:

Starring: Michelle Pfeiffer, Treat Williams, Whoopi Goldberg, Jonathan Jackson, Ryan Merriman, John Kapelos, Michael McElroy / Director: Ulu Grosbard

Going in to see “The Deep End of the Ocean,” I knew I was in for an emotional roller coaster. I came equipped with my tissues, and was totally prepared to cry. What I was not prepared for, however, was that my ears would be accosted by so many curse words and the Lord’s name uttered in vain several times.

In “The Deep End of the Ocean”, Beth Cappadora (Michelle Pfeiffer) heads to her Chicago-based class reunion with three children in tow while hubby, Pat, (Treat Williams) stays home to work. In the crowded hotel lobby, Beth loses her 3-year-old son. Nine years later, he shows up on her doorstep, totally unaware of who she is, or who HE is. A very emotional storyline, especially for parents of young children who know that ANYTHING can happen in a matter of seconds. The deep emotions are expressed superbly, and you cannot help but relate to the characters' anguish and cry right along with them.

However, on that note, I could not finish this review without a few words of warning. While a few curse words during such a time of stress would be expected, the movie really went above and beyond. The Lord’s name was uttered in vain in everyday conversation as well as during intense moments. There is one scene of Mass, and one scene in which Beth utters a brief prayer, but it feels hypocrital given the way the whole family speaks and acts in everyday life. Also, it is worthy to note that Hollywood also managed to insert a gay character—Candy Bliss (Whoopi Goldberg), the detective on the case. While her lifestyle is not portrayed, there is a scene dedicated to her telling Beth that she is gay. It is totally out of place, and equally unnecessary.

This is not a film I would recommend for young children, and I would even hesitate for teens to see it. It was a good storyline with, unfortunately, a littered script. If you are not easily offended, this movie may be for you. But for most Christians who are discerning of what they see, please reconsider before viewing.

Viewer Comments
Here is the language in the movie: At least 2 “f” words, 10 “s” words, 3 hells, 1 ass (used with “hole”), 1 S.O.B., 1 damn, and 5 uses each of “Oh God” and “Jesus,” 4 of “Oh my God,” 3 of “Good Christ,” 2 each of “G-damn,” “For God’s sakes,” “My God” and “Oh Jesus,” and 1 use each of “Jesus Christ,” “God” and “Christ” as exclamations.
—Ronni, age 36
While I have not yet seen the movie, I have read the book and thought I’d like to point out something the reviewer might have missed. Turning a book into a movie is not down to an exact science yet, and so there are bound to be errors. The character of Candy is not just a “token” gay inserted for the purposes of being politically correct, her character in the book was very important, and her homosexuality equally as important. Maybe the book was watered down a bit in being made into a movie and this point was missed…
—Thunder, age 15
I agree with the reviewer’s comments regarding this film. Between God’s and Jesus Christ’s name being used frequently and two forms of the “f” word spoken, I was wondering if I had misread the PG-13 rating. Although the story line is good and this could have been an enjoyable movie for Christians to see, I think that this film is inappropriate for believers of any age and should not be an entertainment destination for anyone. Based on this experience, I will be very careful of attending a PG-13 picture unless I know that it would be suitable for middle school children and discerning Christians.
—DLA, age 58