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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Our Family Wedding

By
Kurt Jensen
Source: Catholic News Service

Who knew that so much racial harmony could be brought about simply by dancing the electric slide? That's about as deep a message as you'll find in the scattershot comedy "Our Family Wedding" (Fox Searchlight).

It's the time-honored story of how the course of young love never runs smoothly when families are bickering. This update of "Father of the Bride" is given an ethnic twist by making bride Lucia Ramirez (America Ferrera), a Latina from a warm, hard-working Mexican-American family, and groom Marcus Boyd (Lance Gross), an African-American with a prosperous single father.

The spouses-to-be are idealistic. She's dropped out of law school to tutor immigrants -- her family's more disappointed with that than with her choice of a husband—and, just out of medical school, he's about to go to Laos to join Doctors Without Borders.

Explicit bigotry is absent, and racial badinage is kept to a pleasant minimum in favor of physical comedy, although that includes a crude sequence about a goat that gets into someone's supply of Viagra.

Otherwise, it's a cheerful outing that strains to be inoffensive. The women get into the typical preparations and visit a bridal shop, and the fathers (Forest Whitaker as Gerald Boyd, Carlos Mencia as Miguel Ramirez) get into physical scrapes and shout a lot.

The faith differences—Marcus is a fallen-away Baptist, Lucia a Catholic—are mentioned, but those, like all the other genuinely serious issues and potentially serious ones, are left unexplored. And, in the end, they are married by a priest.

Despite the few elements listed below, this nuptial comedy is probably acceptable fare for mature teens.

The film contains a fleeting instance of crass language and the implication of a premarital relationship. 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.

*****
Kurt Jensen is a guest reviewer for the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


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Leopold Mandic: Western Christians who are working for greater dialogue with Orthodox Christians may be reaping the fruits of Father Leopold’s prayers.
<p>A native of Croatia, Leopold joined the Capuchin Franciscans and was ordained several years later in spite of several health problems. He could not speak loudly enough to preach publicly. For many years he also suffered from severe arthritis, poor eyesight and a stomach ailment.
</p><p>Leopold taught patrology, the study of the Church Fathers, to the clerics of his province for several years, but he is best known for his work in the confessional, where he sometimes spent 13-15 hours a day. Several bishops sought out his spiritual advice.
</p><p>Leopold’s dream was to go to the Orthodox Christians and work for the reunion of Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. His health never permitted it. Leopold often renewed his vow to go to the Eastern Christians; the cause of unity was constantly in his prayers.
</p><p>At a time when Pope Pius XII said that the greatest sin of our time is "to have lost all sense of sin," Leopold had a profound sense of sin and an even firmer sense of God’s grace awaiting human cooperation.
</p><p>Leopold, who lived most of his life in Padua, died on July 30, 1942, and was canonized in 1982.</p> American Catholic Blog Heavenly Father, give me the grace to be grateful and to use my gifts and talents to show your love to others so that when they see me, they recognize you living in me and loving them through me. I ask this in Jesus's name, Amen.

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