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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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Augustine of Canterbury: In the year 596, some 40 monks set out from Rome to evangelize the Anglo-Saxons in England. Leading the group was Augustine, the prior of their monastery in Rome. Hardly had he and his men reached Gaul (France) when they heard stories of the ferocity of the Anglo-Saxons and of the treacherous waters of the English Channel. Augustine returned to Rome and to the pope who had sent them—St. Gregory the Great (September 3 )—only to be assured by him that their fears were groundless. 
<p>Augustine again set out. This time the group crossed the English Channel and landed in the territory of Kent, ruled by King Ethelbert, a pagan married to a Christian, Bertha. Ethelbert received them kindly, set up a residence for them in Canterbury and within the year, on Pentecost Sunday, 597, was himself baptized. After being consecrated a bishop in France, Augustine returned to Canterbury, where he founded his see. He constructed a church and monastery near where the present cathedral, begun in 1070, now stands. As the faith spread, additional sees were established at London and Rochester. </p><p>Work was sometimes slow and Augustine did not always meet with success. Attempts to reconcile the Anglo-Saxon Christians with the original Briton Christians (who had been driven into western England by Anglo-Saxon invaders) ended in dismal failure. Augustine failed to convince the Britons to give up certain Celtic customs at variance with Rome and to forget their bitterness, helping him evangelize their Anglo-Saxon conquerors </p><p>Laboring patiently, Augustine wisely heeded the missionary principles—quite enlightened for the times—suggested by Pope Gregory the Great: purify rather than destroy pagan temples and customs; let pagan rites and festivals be transformed into Christian feasts; retain local customs as far as possible. The limited success Augustine achieved in England before his death in 605, a short eight years after he arrived in England, would eventually bear fruit long after in the conversion of England. Augustine of Canterbury can truly be called the “Apostle of England.”</p> American Catholic Blog When we go through pain it is easy to feel abandoned or forgotten, but suffering doesn’t mean God doesn’t love us, He does. Even Jesus suffered, and He was completely without sin.

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