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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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John of Capistrano: It has been said the Christian saints are the world’s greatest optimists. Not blind to the existence and consequences of evil, they base their confidence on the power of Christ’s redemption. The power of conversion through Christ extends not only to sinful people but also to calamitous events. 
<p>Imagine being born in the 14th century. One-third of the population and nearly 40 percent of the clergy were wiped out by the bubonic plague. The Western Schism split the Church with two or three claimants to the Holy See at one time. England and France were at war. The city-states of Italy were constantly in conflict. No wonder that gloom dominated the spirit of the culture and the times. </p><p>John Capistrano was born in 1386. His education was thorough. His talents and success were great. When he was 26 he was made governor of Perugia. Imprisoned after a battle against the Malatestas, he resolved to change his way of life completely. At the age of 30 he entered the Franciscan novitiate and was ordained a priest four years later. </p><p>His preaching attracted great throngs at a time of religious apathy and confusion. He and 12 Franciscan brethren were received in the countries of central Europe as angels of God. They were instrumental in reviving a dying faith and devotion. </p><p>The Franciscan Order itself was in turmoil over the interpretation and observance of the Rule of St. Francis. Through John’s tireless efforts and his expertise in law, the heretical Fraticelli were suppressed and the "Spirituals" were freed from interference in their stricter observance. </p><p>He helped bring about a reunion with the Greek and Armenian Churches, unfortunately only a brief arrangement. </p><p>When the Turks captured Constantinople in 1453, he was commissioned to preach a crusade for the defense of Europe. Gaining little response in Bavaria and Austria, he decided to concentrate his efforts in Hungary. He led the army to Belgrade. Under the great General John Hunyadi, they gained an overwhelming victory, and the siege of Belgrade was lifted. Worn out by his superhuman efforts, Capistrano was an easy prey to an infection after the battle. He died October 23, 1456.</p> American Catholic Blog When we are linked by the power of prayer, we as it were, hold each other’s hand as we walk side by side along a slippery path; and thus by the bounteous disposition of charity, it comes about that the harder each one leans on the other, the more firmly we are riveted together in brotherly love. —St. Gregory the Great

 
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