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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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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 A hero isn’t someone born with unconquerable strength and selflessness. Heroes are not formed in a cataclysmic instant. Heroism is developed over time, one decision after another, moment by moment, formed by a deliberate, chosen, and habitual response to life.

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