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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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First Martyrs of the Church of Rome: There were Christians in Rome within a dozen or so years after the death of Jesus, though they were not the converts of the “Apostle of the Gentiles” (Romans 15:20). Paul had not yet visited them at the time he wrote his great letter in 57-58 A.D.. 
<p>There was a large Jewish population in Rome. Probably as a result of controversy between Jews and Jewish Christians, the Emperor Claudius expelled all Jews from Rome in 49-50 A.D. Suetonius the historian says that the expulsion was due to disturbances in the city “caused by the certain Chrestus” [Christ]. Perhaps many came back after Claudius’s death in 54 A.D. Paul’s letter was addressed to a Church with members from Jewish and Gentile backgrounds. </p><p>In July of 64 A.D., more than half of Rome was destroyed by fire. Rumor blamed the tragedy on Nero, who wanted to enlarge his palace. He shifted the blame by accusing the Christians. According to the historian Tacitus, many Christians were put to death because of their “hatred of the human race.” Peter and Paul were probably among the victims. </p><p>Threatened by an army revolt and condemned to death by the senate, Nero committed suicide in 68 A.D. at the age of 31.</p> American Catholic Blog While the future may be uncertain to us, we can rest comfortably in the loving control and sovereignty of our Heavenly Father. We can trust his plan, and we can rely upon his fatherly design and control.

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