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Hairspray

By

Source: Catholic News Service

Highly enjoyable adaptation of the hit Broadway musical based on a 1988 film of the same title about an overweight 1960s Baltimore girl (Nikki Blonsky) whose parents (Christopher Walken and John Travolta, the latter in a cross-dressing role) support her dreams of competing on a racially segregated local dance program which the girl helps integrate. Director Adam Shankman keeps the pace moving and strikes a sensible balance between heightened realism and more fanciful elements. There are entertaining performances from a well-chosen cast, including Michelle Pfeiffer, Queen Latifah, Zac Efron and James Marsden, and strong messages about racial tolerance and self-respect. Some crass expressions, innuendo, mild sexual banter and irreverence, and brief teen smoking make this best for older adolescents. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

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Augustine of Hippo: A Christian at 33, a priest at 36, a bishop at 41: Many people are familiar with the biographical sketch of Augustine of Hippo, sinner turned saint. But really to get to know the man is a rewarding experience. 
<p>There quickly surfaces the intensity with which he lived his life, whether his path led away from or toward God. The tears of his mother, the instructions of Ambrose and, most of all, God himself speaking to him in the Scriptures redirected Augustine’s love of life to a life of love. </p><p>Having been so deeply immersed in creature-pride of life in his early days and having drunk deeply of its bitter dregs, it is not surprising that Augustine should have turned, with a holy fierceness, against the many demon-thrusts rampant in his day. His times were truly decadent—politically, socially, morally. He was both feared and loved, like the Master. The perennial criticism leveled against him: a fundamental rigorism. </p><p>In his day, he providentially fulfilled the office of prophet. Like Jeremiah and other greats, he was hard-pressed but could not keep quiet. “I say to myself, I will not mention him,/I will speak in his name no more./But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart,/imprisoned in my bones;/I grow weary holding it in,/I cannot endure it” (Jeremiah 20:9).</p> American Catholic Blog Lord, please fill my heart and soul with the confidence that you will always provide what I need, when I need it, and let me be obedient to you.

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