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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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Anthony Grassi: Anthony’s father died when his son was only 10 years old, but the young lad inherited his father’s devotion to Our Lady of Loreto. As a schoolboy he frequented the local church of the Oratorian Fathers, joining the religious order when he was 17.
<p>Already a fine student, he soon gained a reputation in his religious community as a "walking dictionary" who quickly grasped Scripture and theology. For some time he was tormented by scruples, but they reportedly left him at the very hour he celebrated his first Mass. From that day, serenity penetrated his very being.
</p><p>In 1621, at age 29, Anthony was struck by lightning while praying in the church of the Holy House at Loreto. He was carried paralyzed from the church, expecting to die. When he recovered in a few days he realized that he had been cured of acute indigestion. His scorched clothes were donated to the Loreto church as an offering of thanks for his new gift of life.
</p><p>More important, Anthony now felt that his life belonged entirely to God. Each year thereafter he made a pilgrimage to Loreto to express his thanks.
</p><p>He also began hearing confessions, and came to be regarded as an outstanding confessor. Simple and direct, he listened carefully to penitents, said a few words and gave a penance and absolution, frequently drawing on his gift of reading consciences.
</p><p>In 1635 he was elected superior of the Fermo Oratory. He was so well regarded that he was reelected every three years until his death. He was a quiet person and a gentle superior who did not know how to be severe. At the same time he kept the Oratorian constitutions literally, encouraging the community to do likewise.
</p><p>He refused social or civic commitments and instead would go out day or night to visit the sick or dying or anyone else needing his services. As he grew older, he had a God-given awareness of the future, a gift which he frequently used to warn or to console.
</p><p>But age brought its challenges as well. He suffered the humility of having to give up his physical faculties one by one. First was his preaching, necessitated after he lost his teeth. Then he could no longer hear confessions. Finally, after a fall, he was confined to his room. The archbishop himself came each day to give him holy Communion. One of Anthony’s final acts was to reconcile two fiercely quarreling brothers.</p> American Catholic Blog God of love, as I come to the end of this Advent season, my heart is ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus. I join with Mary in saying, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Nothing is impossible with you, O God.

 
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