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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Sex and the City 2

By
John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service

The skewed values on display in the romantic comedy "Sex and the City 2" (New Line)—writer-director Michael Patrick King's follow-up to his 2008 big-screen adaptation of the long-running HBO TV series—are typified early on when its main character and narrator, New York-based columnist turned author Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), serves as "best man" at the lavish "wedding" of two male friends.

Having settled down herself at the conclusion of the previous feature, Carrie is battling the stay-at-home instincts of her husband of two years' standing, John Preston, better known as Mr. Big (Chris Noth).

Among her familiar trio of best friends, lawyer Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) finds her career hobbled by a sexist boss, stay-at-home mom Charlotte (Kristin Davis) can't take the 24/7 bawling of her baby daughter and slatternly single Samantha (Kim Cattrall) is desperately popping hormones in pursuit of eternal youth.

An all-expenses-paid jaunt to Abu Dhabi, courtesy of Samantha's potential public relations client Sheik Khalid, provides only temporary relief from these pressures. But it does allow the quartet of pals to express their outrage over the repressive treatment of Muslim women by belting out a karaoke version of Helen Reddy's feminist anthem "I Am Woman."

Their goal, as a later scene suggests, is not only to liberate their Middle Eastern sisters from the burdensome burqa—so lacking in style, so un-Bergdorf Goodman—but to empower them to carry condoms in their purses, as Samantha always does, just in case.

It's hard to decide which aspect of this morally unmoored adventure rankles most: the caricature of Muslims, the confusion of promiscuity with empowerment or the materialist assumption that happiness can be found in conspicuous consumption.

The film contains graphic nonmarital sexual activity with nudity, a benign view of casual sex and homosexual acts, an adultery theme, constant sexual humor and references and some rough and crude language. The Catholic News Service 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 Catholic News Service.


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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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