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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

She's Out of My League

By
John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service

A seemingly unlikely romance between a nerdy but good-hearted man and a fetching, sophisticated young woman could be the basis for a film exploring worthwhile themes such as the need to reject stereotypes and the value of basing lasting attachments on the appreciation of personal, rather than merely physical qualities.

In the raunchy romantic comedy "She's Out of My League" (Paramount), however, this premise becomes the launching pad for a barrage of sophomoric antics and frequently distasteful sight gags.

As scripted by Sean Anders and John Morris, and directed by Jim Field Smith, this is the tale of awkward, self-doubting Pittsburgh airport security agent Kirk (Jay Baruchel) whose life and romantic prospects are in limbo until he accidentally manages to attract the interest of comely party planner Molly (Alice Eve) when she leaves her cell phone behind while passing through his checkpoint, and he goes out of his way to return it to her.

On the rebound from her last relationship with her dashing but insufferably egotistical ex-boyfriend Cam (Geoff Stults), Molly appreciates Kirk's Boy Scout-like politeness as well as his quirky, self-deprecating sense of humor.

But Kirk's doubts that Molly could actually be attracted to him are reinforced by the cynical nay saying of his three slacker best friends and co-workers, Jack (Mike Vogel), Stainer (T.J. Miller) and Devon (Nate Torrence), who reduce all interaction between the sexes to a set of mathematical formulas whereby a "hard 10" like Molly couldn't possibly fall for Kirk, who is, they calculate, barely a "5.'

Also rooting for Kirk to fail is his ornery ex-girlfriend, Marnie (Lindsay Sloane).

Kirk's effort to make himself more sexually appealing by shaving a part of his anatomy well south of his chin—an endeavor in which he fails on his own and has to accept the supposedly comic help of one of his trio of buddies—and a scene where he becomes overexcited during the preliminaries of an encounter with Molly, only to have her parents arrive unexpectedly, typify the cringe-inducing version of comedy that prevails throughout.

The film contains pervasive sexual humor, rear nudity, brief nongraphic sexual activity, implicit approval of premarital sex, about 10 uses of profanity and constant rough and crude language, including at least 40 uses of the F-word. 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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Hildegard of Bingen: 
		<p>Abbess, artist, author, composer, mystic, pharmacist, poet, preacher, theologian--where to begin describing this remarkable woman?</p>
		<p>Born into a noble family, she was instructed for ten years by the holy woman Blessed Jutta. When Hildegard was 18, she became a Benedictine nun at the Monastery of St. Disibodenberg. Ordered by her confessor to write down the visions that she'd received since the age of three, Hildegard took ten years to write her <em>Scivias</em> (<em>Know the Ways</em>). Pope Eugene III read it and in 1147 encouraged her to continue writing. Her <em>Book of the Merits of Life</em> and <em>Book of Divine Works</em> followed. She wrote over 300 letters to people who sought her advice; she also composed short works on medicine and physiology, and sought advice from contemporaries such as St. Bernard of Clairvaux.</p>
		<p>Hildegard's visions caused her to see humans as "living sparks" of God's love, coming from God as daylight comes from the sun. Sin destroyed the original harmony of creation; Christ's redeeming death and resurrection opened up new possibilities. Virtuous living reduces the estrangement from God and others that sin causes. </p>
		<p>Like all mystics, she saw the harmony of God's creation and the place of women and men in that. This unity was not apparent to many of her contemporaries. </p>
		<p>Hildegard was no stranger to controversy. The monks near her original foundation protested vigorously when she moved her monastery to Bingen, overlooking the Rhine River. She confronted Emperor Frederick Barbarossa for supporting at least three antipopes. Hildegard challenged the Cathars, who rejected the Catholic Church claiming to follow a more pure Christianity.</p>
		<p>Between 1152 and 1162, Hildegard often preached in the Rhineland. Her monastery was placed under interdict because she had permitted the burial of a young man who had been excommunicated. She insisted that he had been reconciled with the Church and had received its sacraments before dying. Hildegard protested bitterly when the local bishop forbade the celebration of or reception of the Eucharist at the Bingen monastery, a sanction that was lifted only a few months before her death. </p>
		<p>In 2012, Hildegard was canonized and named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Benedict XVI.</p>
American Catholic Blog It is for you to find your place in the history of humanity. Nobody can do it for you. It is a work that will be left undone unless you do it yourself.

 
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