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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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Martha: Martha, Mary and their brother Lazarus were evidently close friends of Jesus. He came to their home simply as a welcomed guest, rather than as one celebrating the conversion of a sinner like Zacchaeus or one unceremoniously received by a suspicious Pharisee. The sisters feel free to call on Jesus at their brother’s death, even though a return to Judea at that time seems almost certain death. 
<p>No doubt Martha was an active sort of person. On one occasion (see Luke 10:38-42) she prepares the meal for Jesus and possibly his fellow guests and forthrightly states the obvious: All hands should pitch in to help with the dinner. </p><p>Yet, as biblical scholar Father John McKenzie points out, she need not be rated as an “unrecollected activist.” The evangelist is emphasizing what our Lord said on several occasions about the primacy of the spiritual: “...[D]o not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear…. But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:25b, 33a); “One does not live by bread alone” (Luke 4:4b); “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness…” (Matthew 5:6a). </p><p>Martha’s great glory is her simple and strong statement of faith in Jesus after her brother’s death. “Jesus told her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world’” (John 11:25-27).</p> American Catholic Blog Anger and inconsistency feed each other. Anger in a parent can lead to erratic discipline, and erratic discipline promotes anger and frustration. Good parents work hard to discipline with a level head. The best parents though, even after many years or many kids, are still working on the level-headed part.

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