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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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Peter Chanel: Anyone who has worked in loneliness, with great adaptation required and with little apparent success, will find a kindred spirit in Peter Chanel. 
<p>As a young priest he revived a parish in a "bad" district by the simple method of showing great devotion to the sick. Wanting to be a missionary, he joined the Society of Mary (Marists) at 28. Obediently, he taught in the seminary for five years. Then, as superior of seven Marists, he traveled to Western Oceania. The bishop accompanying the missionaries left Peter and a brother on Futuna Island (northeast of Fiji), promising to return in six months. He was gone five years. </p><p>Meanwhile, Peter struggled with this new language and mastered it, making the difficult adjustment to life with whalers, traders, and warring natives. Despite little apparent success and severe want, he maintained a serene and gentle spirit, plus endless patience and courage. A few natives had been baptized, a few more were being instructed. When the chieftain's son asked to be baptized, persecution by the chieftain reached a climax. Father Chanel was clubbed to death. </p><p>Within two years after his death, the whole island became Catholic and has remained so. Peter Chanel is the first martyr of Oceania and its patron.</p> American Catholic Blog No matter what their age, people can continue to make their voices heard in the arenas of public opinion and in the political process. Let nobody say they are too old to be concerned about abortion. As long as we possess life, we have the duty and privilege to defend life.

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