Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"


Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.


Watch This Review

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Movie Review

"There is no one quite like you."

So says Carlo Edwards, voice coach of socialite Florence Foster Jenkins. And he's absolutely right.

Florence isn't just rich. She's not just one of New York City's most prominent socialites, circa 1944. She's also a singer. She's not a good singer, mind you. Her diction is muddy. Her pitch is uncertain. And when she misses a note—as she does frequently—she misses it with gusto. Nails on a chalkboard? A cat getting its tail slammed in a door? These things bow in wonderment to the cacophonic splendors that explode from Mrs. Foster Jenkins' mouth. No one is quite like her indeed.

Florence says that it's easier to cut off a musician's supply of water than to cut off the music. Some of her critics might be tempted to test that.

Not that she has many critics, thanks to massive wealth, oversized generosity and her ever-vigilant husband, St. Clair Bayfield. Accordingly, her well-paid voice coach gushes with praise. Her pianist, the dutiful Cosme McMoon, politely switches key and tempo when her partner's melodious meanderings require it. Her recitals are packed with "true music lovers," in Bayfield's words: dear friends (many of whom may be a bit deaf); doting music journalists (who depend on Florence's patronage to pay the bills); and general attendees (who accept small bribes to ensure their respectful attendance and sincere appreciation).

And so Florence Foster Jenkins' every trill is greeted with sighs of appreciation, her every finale greeted with a standing ovation. She's encased in a moneyed bubble, designed to ensure she never realizes just how bad she is.

But during one of Bayfield's golfing vacations when he's not around to rein his wife in, Florence decides more people need to be given the gift of her voice. She delivers a record of her singing to a local radio station. And then, when the songs become wildly popular, Florence takes another step forward. She books Carnegie Hall for a one-night-only concert.

Florence may be popular, and she may be rich. But she doesn't have enough friends, and Bayfield doesn't have enough dollars, to pack the 3,000-seat auditorium with "true music lovers."

Now Florence may have to face a different sort of music.


Positive Elements

Say what you want about Florence's dubious musical ability and her many eccentricities, the lady is a true patron of the arts. When a conductor has an idea for a new show or a music hall wants to debut a new talent, they go to her for help—and more often than not, she gives it. When soldiers and sailors, still embroiled in World War II, show up at a concert and behave a bit rowdily, she demands they be given the respect that war veterans deserve. Florence has gumption, too: She's made her own living and is not above washing dishes for a friend.

Florence's generosity and guileless spirit have earned her a coterie of friends who don't want to see her get hurt. Bayfield heads that list. Even though his relationship with Florence is complex, he loves his wife. He eventually sacrifices his relationship with his mistress, Kathleen, to defend Florence's honor. He does everything he can to make sure that her bubble of protection isn't pricked. And the Carnegie Hall concert is, potentially, a huge, jagged needle threatening that bubble. When Florence detects his worry over the event and says, "If you loved me, you'd let me sing," you know exactly what he's thinking: *I love you, and that's why I don't want you to sing.

*McMoon is similarly devoted to protecting his employer. In a telling scene, Florence taps out the melody of a piano piece from Polish composer Frédéric Chopin; McMoon stands beside her, playing the more complex lower chords. Together, they make music—even though it's clear who's doing most of the work.

Spiritual Content

Florence dresses up as "the angel of inspiration," complete with wings. Someone reportedly isn't "keen on the Jews."

Sexual Content

Bayfield was once a talented actor, which comes in handy juggling his two lives. In one, he's Florence's doting, dutiful husband. But he actually sleeps in a separate apartment he shares with his mistress Kathleen. The two are shown in bed together unclothed. (We see Kathleen's bare back both in bed and when she gets up to put on a robe.) They kiss frequently. During a golf vacation, they lie down together in long grass. When Kathleen successfully hits a golf ball well, she leaps on her paramour in joy, wrapping her legs around him.

It's unclear how aware Florence is of Bayfield's affair. Bayfield is horrified when it looks as though Florence might walk in on him and Kathleen in bed together. But he also tells McMoon that he and Florence have an understanding. While neither acknowledge an affair, it does sometimes seem that Florence indeed suspects that his "golf" vacations aren't what they seem to be.

Bayfield and Florence, incidentally, have remained abstinent throughout their relationship, partly because Florence contracted syphilis from her first husband on their wedding night. She's lived with the disease for more than 50 years. Most people die from it within 20 years, we're told. And while the doctor says the disease is likely no longer contagious, he recommends to Bayfield that they remain abstinent anyway, in part to not "over excite" Florence, which could damage her already weak constitution.

A woman in her underwear staggers around Bayfield's apartment after a party. During Florence's music lessons, her voice coach stands behind her as Florence leans on a table, holding her waist and hips. The pose suggests, perhaps unintentionally, a sexual position. McMoon—a gentle, soft-spoken man—goes to a party where another man drapes his arm across the pianist's shoulders, leering a bit. (McMoon later says that everyone seemed so friendly.) A married woman also flirts with McMoon, and she later struts and shimmies to an appreciative, whistling crowd of soldiers and sailors.

Violent Content

Someone faints. McMoon is late to a concert because he was, apparently, roughed up by some sailors. Florence is terrified of knives, and she screams when one happens to land near her. She has scars on her hands from the syphilis. A tableaux (a living painting, in a sense) features a number of "dead" soldiers (their heads and bodies stained red with stage blood) under the feet of legendary Valkyries.

Crude or Profane Language

Two s-words and a handful of other profanities, including four uses of the word "a--" and one use of the word "b--ch." God's name is misused about 10 times, once with the word "d--n."

Drug and Alcohol Content

Bayfield smokes cigarettes (though never in the presence of Florence). He also drinks, sometimes encouraging McMoon to guzzle a glass of whiskey or brandy with him in "one go." Alcohol flows freely at a party at his apartment, and McMoon eventually passes out on Bayfield's couch. When Florence stops by unexpectedly the next morning, Bayfield feigns shock at the horrific condition the living room is in. During one of Florence's concerts, it's remarked that nearly everyone is probably drunk.

Other Negative Elements

After a party, McMoon vomits in Bayfield's toilet.


Florence Foster Jenkins, played by three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep, is no fictional figure. She was a real socialite who believed unwaveringly in her own musical talent. Indeed, the movie may have even toned down her outsized personality. Allegedly, when a taxi she was riding in once hit another car, she screamed—and was thrilled to have hit a note she'd never managed to reach before. She reportedly sent the taxi driver a box of cigars in gratitude.

And she really did say something close to one of the movie's most memorable lines: "People may say I couldn't sing, but no one can ever say I didn't sing."

That line is at the core of Florence Foster Jenkins' gentle, silly charm. Most everyone in the movie—and everyone in the audience—knows Florence can't sing. But she sings anyway. She loves it. She has a dream and she follows it. And because of her uncomplicated devotion to music, we wind up rooting for her. We root for her husband to bribe friendly journalists and to bully the others to stay away. We root for Florence's protective bubble to stay intact.

The movie invites us to root, in a sense, for a lie—a curious thing indeed to cheer for.

We usually don't like it when people lie, particularly when they lie about themselves and their abilities. We abhor that sort of vanity. We appreciate modesty, applaud excellence and, typically, have little tolerance for failure. We don't go to restaurants that serve bad food, even if we know the chef's cooking his heart out. When an athlete is past his prime, we wonder why he doesn't hang up the cleats already.

But every now and then, we make an exception. Sometimes we're charmed by the below-average or the laughably bad. We root for the Jamaican bobsled team, indulge so-bad-it's good guilty pleasures, laugh and cheer when our own kid knocks the ball into his own goal. Sometimes, even when the talent isn't there, passion alone wins us over. And maybe we see not just someone to snicker at, but someone to admire. Someone who has the courage to put herself out there for all the world to see, to chase a dream she has no business chasing.

Florence Foster Jenkins reminds us all that, sometimes, passion trumps perfection. That what we love doesn't always make sense. That anything worth pursuing is worth pursuing with gusto. And despite the film's sexual dalliances and occasional bad words, that's a good reminder in a culture that sometimes puts an unhealthy value on perfection.

"There is no one quite like you," Florence Foster Jenkins' voice coach tells her. The same could be said of us all.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!