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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Tooth Fairy

By
John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service


Dwayne Johnson stars in a scene from the movie "Tooth Fairy."
Though it features scenes of former pro wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson sporting a pair of more-or-less gossamer wings, "Tooth Fairy" (Fox), a feeble fable about the importance of childhood imagination and the pursuit of dreams, never really takes flight.

Additionally, this mostly family-friendly comedy from director Michael Lembeck includes elements of violent sports action and mature dialogue that preclude endorsement for all.

Johnson plays Derek Thompson, a once-gifted professional hockey player now reduced to body-checking opponents for the enjoyment of sadistic minor league fans. Thanks to the dental damage that often results, Derek has earned the ironic nickname "The Tooth Fairy."

Derek's comedown in the world has left him disillusioned, leading him to discourage a youthful hockey enthusiast from dreaming of glory on the ice and to all but deny—in the presence of girlfriend Carly's (Ashley Judd) impressionable 5-year-old daughter, Tess (Destiny Grace Whitlock)—the very existence of the "real" tooth fairy.

For these offenses, Derek is supernaturally summoned to appear before Lily (Julie Andrews), the matriarch of Fairyland, and sentenced to two weeks of service as a collector of baby teeth. Though an initial mix-up sees him clothed in a tutu, Derek is eventually given a marginally more masculine outfit and assigned to the care of an officious but good-hearted pixie mentor named Tracy (Stephen Merchant).

His new secret mission not only complicates Derek's relationship with Carly, but endangers his macho standing among his teammates, including newcomer and rival Mick Donnelly, played by skateboarding star Ryan Sheckler.

Along with the scenes of bruising rink-top mayhem, the script—penned by no fewer than five screenwriters (Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel, Joshua Sternin, Jeffrey Ventimilia and Randi Mayem Singer)—incongruously mixes in an exchange between Derek and Carly's 14-year-old son, Randy (Chase Ellison), about the physical effects of puberty.

Though brief, vaguely worded and played for laughs—Derek's impression that Randy is looking for guidance is quickly disproved by the teen's evident discomfort with the topic—the discussion seems especially out of place in a tale supposedly dedicated to celebrating the innocence and wonder of little ones like Tess, and presumably aimed, in part at least, at an audience of her peers.

The film contains moderate hockey violence, some mild sexual references and brief scatological humor. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-II—adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG—parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

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


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Angela Merici: Angela has the double distinction of founding the first teaching congregation of women in the Church and what is now called a “secular institute” of religious women. 
<p>As a young woman she became a member of the Third Order of St. Francis (now known as the Secular Franciscan Order), and lived a life of great austerity, wishing, like St. Francis, to own nothing, not even a bed. Early in life she was appalled at the ignorance among poorer children, whose parents could not or would not teach them the elements of religion. Angela’s charming manner and good looks complemented her natural qualities of leadership. Others joined her in giving regular instruction to the little girls of their neighborhood. </p><p>She was invited to live with a family in Brescia (where, she had been told in a vision, she would one day found a religious community). Her work continued and became well known. She became the center of a group of people with similar ideals. </p><p>She eagerly took the opportunity for a trip to the Holy Land. When they had gotten as far as Crete, she was struck with blindness. Her friends wanted to return home, but she insisted on going through with the pilgrimage, and visited the sacred shrines with as much devotion and enthusiasm as if she had her sight. On the way back, while praying before a crucifix, her sight was restored at the same place where it had been lost. </p><p>At 57, she organized a group of 12 girls to help her in catechetical work. Four years later the group had increased to 28. She formed them into the Company of St. Ursula (patroness of medieval universities and venerated as a leader of women) for the purpose of re-Christianizing family life through solid Christian education of future wives and mothers. The members continued to live at home, had no special habit and took no formal vows, though the early Rule prescribed the practice of virginity, poverty and obedience. The idea of a teaching congregation of women was new and took time to develop. The community thus existed as a “secular institute” until some years after Angela’s death.</p> American Catholic Blog I hear far more people discuss the presence of evil in their lives than they do the supreme power of grace. God is bigger than evil!

 
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