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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Post Grad

By
John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service


Rodrigo Santoro and Alexis Bledel star in a scene from the movie "Post Grad."
A talented cast is becalmed by a listless script in "Post Grad" (Fox Atomic). As penned by Kelly Fremon, veteran animation director Vicky Jenson's live-action debut—part coming-of-age tale, part romantic comedy, part quirky family romp—tries to go in too many directions at once, and ends up adrift.
 
The premise is certainly timely. Having planned her life out carefully since early high school days, Ryden Malby (Alexis Bledel) graduates from college convinced that she will easily secure her dream job as a book editor at her favorite publishing firm, so much so that she prematurely signs the lease on an expensive apartment.
 
Instead, her main scholastic rival, Jessica Bard (Catherine Reitman), swoops in to grab the position, leaving broke Ryden with no choice but to return home to her eccentric family.
 
Dad Walter (Michael Keaton) tries to divert Ryden from her employment search by inveigling her into his Ralph Kramden-style schemes for making it big. Tough-talking grandmother Maureen (Carol Burnett), a heavy smoker now on oxygen, is busy trying out caskets at the funeral parlor. And jaded mom Carmella (Jane Lynch) has her hands full with Ryden's younger brother, Hunter (Bobby Coleman), whose preferred method of communication is via a sock puppet.
 
Along with her economic woes, Ryden also faces a romantic dilemma. Should she stick with longtime boyfriend Adam (Zach Gilford) or go for Brazilian-born ladies man David (Rodrigo Santoro), one of her parents' neighbors?
 
Typical of the misguided comedy and slow pace are scenes portraying the demise and burial of David's cat, whose improvised funeral—hardly the likeliest source of laughs in the first place—is pointlessly prolonged.
 
After one of his projects goes drastically wrong, resulting in a crisis, Walter resolves that the quarreling family needs to pull together, and a subplot involving Hunter's interest in soapbox racing boosts family solidarity.
 
But, in contrast to the chaste nature of her relationship with Adam—about which he openly complains—Ryden has a passionate encounter with David after the two have barely met. And the dialogue repeatedly refers to the importance of using prophylactics, with one adult character advising Ryden, "Condoms are your best friend."
 
The film contains brief nongraphic, nonmarital sexual activity, occasional sexual references, a half-dozen uses of profanity, at least one use of the F-word, and some crude and crass language. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III—adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13—parents strongly cautioned; some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
 
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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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Paul Miki and Companions: Nagasaki, Japan, is familiar to Americans as the city on which the second atomic bomb was dropped, immediately killing over 37,000 people. Three and a half centuries before, 26 martyrs of Japan were crucified on a hill, now known as the Holy Mountain, overlooking Nagasaki. Among them were priests, brothers and laymen, Franciscans, Jesuits and members of the Secular Franciscan Order; there were catechists, doctors, simple artisans and servants, old men and innocent children—all united in a common faith and love for Jesus and his Church. 
<p>Brother Paul Miki, a Jesuit and a native of Japan, has become the best known among the martyrs of Japan. While hanging upon a cross, Paul Miki preached to the people gathered for the execution: “The sentence of judgment says these men came to Japan from the Philippines, but I did not come from any other country. I am a true Japanese. The only reason for my being killed is that I have taught the doctrine of Christ. I certainly did teach the doctrine of Christ. I thank God it is for this reason I die. I believe that I am telling only the truth before I die. I know you believe me and I want to say to you all once again: Ask Christ to help you to become happy. I obey Christ. After Christ’s example I forgive my persecutors. I do not hate them. I ask God to have pity on all, and I hope my blood will fall on my fellow men as a fruitful rain.” </p><p>When missionaries returned to Japan in the 1860s, at first they found no trace of Christianity. But after establishing themselves they found that thousands of Christians lived around Nagasaki and that they had secretly preserved the faith. Beatified in 1627, the martyrs of Japan were finally canonized in 1862.</p> American Catholic Blog By way of analogy, we are taught that we all have the same sun shining on us and we all have the same rain falling on us. It is how we deal with sun and rain, how we deal with the happy and the not-so-happy things of life that causes our interior weather. Basically, we do it to ourselves.

Divine Science Michael Dennin

 
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