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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.
 
- - -
 
Mulderig is on the staff of the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.




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Joseph Calasanz: 
		<p>From Aragon, where he was born in 1556, to Rome, where he died 92 years later, fortune alternately smiled and frowned on the work of Joseph Calasanz. A priest with university training in canon law and theology, respected for his wisdom and administrative expertise, he put aside his career because he was deeply concerned with the need for education of poor children.</p>
		<p>When he was unable to get other institutes to undertake this apostolate at Rome, he and several companions personally provided a free school for deprived children. So overwhelming was the response that there was a constant need for larger facilities to house their effort. Soon Pope Clement VIII gave support to the school, and this aid continued under Pope Paul V. Other schools were opened; other men were attracted to the work and in 1621 the community (for so the teachers lived) was recognized as a religious community, the Clerks Regular of Religious Schools (Piarists or Scolopi). Not long after, Joseph was appointed superior for life.</p>
		<p>A combination of various prejudices and political ambition and maneuvering caused the institute much turmoil. Some did not favor educating the poor, for education would leave the poor dissatisfied with their lowly tasks for society! Others were shocked that some of the Piarists were sent for instruction to Galileo (a friend of Joseph) as superior, thus dividing the members into opposite camps. Repeatedly investigated by papal commissions, Joseph was demoted; when the struggle within the institute persisted, the Piarists were suppressed. Only after Joseph’s death were they formally recognized as a religious community.</p>
American Catholic Blog The Church’s motherhood is a spiritual reality that profoundly affects the lives of believers. In fact, the famous convert to Catholicism Cardinal John Henry Newman once said that it was through his reading and encounter with the Church of the Fathers that “I found my spiritual Mother.”

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