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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard

By
John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service


David Koechner, Kathryn Hahn, Jeremy Piven and Ving Rhames star in the movie "The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard."
Let the buyer—in this case, the ticket buyer—beware. "The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard" (Paramount Vantage) is a shoddy, vulgar comedy that relies on humor and language as sordid as the strip clubs its characters frequent.
 
In a last-gasp bid to save his failing used-car dealership, Ben Selleck (James Brolin) summons a team of crack freelancing sales types led by legendary smooth talker Don Ready (Jeremy Piven).
 
As the newcomers work to clear the inventory, romance buds between Don and Ben's engaged daughter, Ivy (Jordana Spiro). This is OK, because—of course—Ivy's fiance, Paxton (Ed Helms), is a childish, smug dunce who is secretly conspiring with his father, auto importer Stu (Alan Thicke), to undermine Ben's reviving fortunes.
 
In one of the few redeeming aspects of Adam Stock and Rick Stempson's script, freewheeling Don yearns to settle down and become a family man.
 
But two of Don's go-getters become enmeshed in less traditional—supposedly amusing—romantic entanglements. Middle-aged Brent (David Koechner) finds himself the object of unwanted advances from Ben, while hard-edged sales gal Babs (Kathryn Hahn) pursues Ben's son, Peter (Rob Riggle), a 10-year-old with a pituitary condition that has given him the body of a full-grown man.
 
Fueled by such tasteless material, director Neal Brennan's comedic lemon grinds its gears and goes nowhere.
 
The film contains strong sexual content, including adultery and brief graphic nonmarital sexual activity, full nudity, drug use, about a dozen uses of profanity, and pervasive rough and much crude language. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O—morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R—restricted; under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
 
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Mulderig is on the staff of the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.




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Joseph Calasanz: 
		<p>From Aragon, where he was born in 1556, to Rome, where he died 92 years later, fortune alternately smiled and frowned on the work of Joseph Calasanz. A priest with university training in canon law and theology, respected for his wisdom and administrative expertise, he put aside his career because he was deeply concerned with the need for education of poor children.</p>
		<p>When he was unable to get other institutes to undertake this apostolate at Rome, he and several companions personally provided a free school for deprived children. So overwhelming was the response that there was a constant need for larger facilities to house their effort. Soon Pope Clement VIII gave support to the school, and this aid continued under Pope Paul V. Other schools were opened; other men were attracted to the work and in 1621 the community (for so the teachers lived) was recognized as a religious community, the Clerks Regular of Religious Schools (Piarists or Scolopi). Not long after, Joseph was appointed superior for life.</p>
		<p>A combination of various prejudices and political ambition and maneuvering caused the institute much turmoil. Some did not favor educating the poor, for education would leave the poor dissatisfied with their lowly tasks for society! Others were shocked that some of the Piarists were sent for instruction to Galileo (a friend of Joseph) as superior, thus dividing the members into opposite camps. Repeatedly investigated by papal commissions, Joseph was demoted; when the struggle within the institute persisted, the Piarists were suppressed. Only after Joseph’s death were they formally recognized as a religious community.</p>
American Catholic Blog The Church’s motherhood is a spiritual reality that profoundly affects the lives of believers. In fact, the famous convert to Catholicism Cardinal John Henry Newman once said that it was through his reading and encounter with the Church of the Fathers that “I found my spiritual Mother.”

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