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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Youth in Revolt

By
John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service

Though sometimes witty, "Youth in Revolt" (Dimension) is, far more consistently, a sex-focused coming-of-age comedy that begins with its main character, lonely California teen Nick Twisp (Michael Cera), engaged in an audible (though not visible) act of autoeroticism, and rarely departs from the theme of physical gratification thereafter.

Much of the more acceptable humor revolves around Nick's sophisticated cultural tastes—typified by his fondness for old Frank Sinatra records and classic Fellini movies—which make him a fish out of water in the lowbrow world of his divorced parents, Estelle (Jean Smart) and George (Steve Buscemi).

So when Nick meets comely, and like-minded, Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday)—a devotee of all things French—on a family vacation to a lakeside trailer park, he falls instantly and obsessively in love.

But fate intervenes to separate the young couple before Nick has had a chance to jettison his virginity by spending the night with Sheeni. (In line with many another Hollywood offering, director Miguel Arteta's adaptation of "Youth in Revolt: The Journals of Nick Twisp"—the first in C.D. Payne's series of novels about the titular adolescent—portrays high schooler Nick's lack of bedroom experience as an intolerable psychological and emotional burden.)

In response to this crisis, Nick develops a suave but amoral alter ego named Francois (also Cera), who proves willing to cause all manner of supposedly comic mayhem—including traffic accidents and a destructive blaze—to reunite Nick with the object of his desire.

Their shared pursuit of Sheeni leads to such adventures as a hormonally charged nighttime stay in her boarding school dorm room and a "magic mushrooms" trip during which Nick hallucinates the illustrations in a sex manual coming alive and floating provocatively through the air.

The film contains explicit animated images of intercourse, nongraphic premarital (and probably underage) sexual activity, masturbation, drug use, at least one profanity, much sexual humor and considerable rough and crude language. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O—morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R—restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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


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Pedro de San José Betancur: Central America claimed its first saint with the canonization of Pedro de San José Betancur by Pope John Paul II in Guatemala City on July 30, 2002. Known as the "St. Francis of the Americas," Pedro de Betancur is the first saint to have worked and died in Guatemala. 
<p>Calling the new saint an “outstanding example” of Christian mercy, the Holy Father noted that St. Pedro practiced mercy “heroically with the lowliest and the most deprived.” Speaking to the estimated 500,000 Guatemalans in attendance, the Holy Father spoke of the social ills that plague the country today and of the need for change. </p><p>“Let us think of the children and young people who are homeless or deprived of an education; of abandoned women with their many needs; of the hordes of social outcasts who live in the cities; of the victims of organized crime, of prostitution or of drugs; of the sick who are neglected and the elderly who live in loneliness,” he said in his homily during the three-hour liturgy. </p><p>Pedro very much wanted to become a priest, but God had other plans for the young man born into a poor family on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Pedro was a shepherd until age 24, when he began to make his way to Guatemala, hoping to connect with a relative engaged in government service there. By the time he reached Havana, he was out of money. After working there to earn more, he got to Guatemala City the following year. When he arrived he was so destitute that he joined the bread line that the Franciscans had established. </p><p>Soon, Pedro enrolled in the local Jesuit college in hopes of studying for the priesthood. No matter how hard he tried, however, he could not master the material; he withdrew from school. In 1655 he joined the Secular Franciscan Order. Three years later he opened a hospital for the convalescent poor; a shelter for the homeless and a school for the poor soon followed. Not wanting to neglect the rich of Guatemala City, Pedro began walking through their part of town ringing a bell and inviting them to repent. </p><p>Other men came to share in Pedro's work. Out of this group came the Bethlehemite Congregation, which won papal approval after Pedro's death. A Bethlehemite sisters' community, similarly founded after Pedro's death, was inspired by his life of prayer and compassion. </p><p>He is sometimes credited with originating the Christmas Eve <i>posadas</i> procession in which people representing Mary and Joseph seek a night's lodging from their neighbors. The custom soon spread to Mexico and other Central American countries. </p><p>Pedro was canonized in 2002.</p> American Catholic Blog We sometimes try to do everything on our own, forgetting that the Lord wants to help us. Let's never be afraid to admit that we are weak and can't do things on our own. St. Paul gives us a great example: "On my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses" (2 Corinthians 12:5).


 
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