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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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Anthony Grassi: Anthony’s father died when his son was only 10 years old, but the young lad inherited his father’s devotion to Our Lady of Loreto. As a schoolboy he frequented the local church of the Oratorian Fathers, joining the religious order when he was 17.
<p>Already a fine student, he soon gained a reputation in his religious community as a "walking dictionary" who quickly grasped Scripture and theology. For some time he was tormented by scruples, but they reportedly left him at the very hour he celebrated his first Mass. From that day, serenity penetrated his very being.
</p><p>In 1621, at age 29, Anthony was struck by lightning while praying in the church of the Holy House at Loreto. He was carried paralyzed from the church, expecting to die. When he recovered in a few days he realized that he had been cured of acute indigestion. His scorched clothes were donated to the Loreto church as an offering of thanks for his new gift of life.
</p><p>More important, Anthony now felt that his life belonged entirely to God. Each year thereafter he made a pilgrimage to Loreto to express his thanks.
</p><p>He also began hearing confessions, and came to be regarded as an outstanding confessor. Simple and direct, he listened carefully to penitents, said a few words and gave a penance and absolution, frequently drawing on his gift of reading consciences.
</p><p>In 1635 he was elected superior of the Fermo Oratory. He was so well regarded that he was reelected every three years until his death. He was a quiet person and a gentle superior who did not know how to be severe. At the same time he kept the Oratorian constitutions literally, encouraging the community to do likewise.
</p><p>He refused social or civic commitments and instead would go out day or night to visit the sick or dying or anyone else needing his services. As he grew older, he had a God-given awareness of the future, a gift which he frequently used to warn or to console.
</p><p>But age brought its challenges as well. He suffered the humility of having to give up his physical faculties one by one. First was his preaching, necessitated after he lost his teeth. Then he could no longer hear confessions. Finally, after a fall, he was confined to his room. The archbishop himself came each day to give him holy Communion. One of Anthony’s final acts was to reconcile two fiercely quarreling brothers.</p> American Catholic Blog God of love, as I come to the end of this Advent season, my heart is ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus. I join with Mary in saying, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Nothing is impossible with you, O God.

 
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