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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Bridesmaids

By
John Mulderig
Source: Catholic News Service

Those who watched the seemingly flawless nuptials uniting Britain's newly minted Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will find a very different wedding experience awaiting them with the arrival on the big screen of the ill-tempered comedy "Bridesmaids" (Universal).

As written by Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig, director Paul Feig's stumble toward the altar starts with a graphic, commitment-free bedroom scene and proceeds to lift the veil -- to supposedly humorous effect -- on other uninviting matters such as the symptoms of food poisoning.

Wiig stars as Annie, a failed bakery owner who finds the downward spiral of her fortunes accelerating after her lifelong best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) becomes engaged and asks her to serve as maid of honor.

What follows is a frantic rivalry pitting Annie against Helen (Rose Byrne) -- another of the attendants and a newfound pal of Lillian's who, Annie fears, may displace her in the bride-to-be's affections -- as well a series of disastrous misadventures for the titular ensemble as a whole (which also includes Melissa McCarthy, Ellie Kemper and Wendi McLendon-Covey).

Since most of these calamities are directly attributable to Annie's misguided efforts to best rich, glamorous and fanatically organized Helen, Lillian -- not surprisingly -- begins to lose patience with her old buddy. So, too, will many viewers.

One glimmer of hope in Annie's life is her budding romance with Irish-born local policeman Rhodes (Chris O'Dowd). But their potentially winning relationship -- Rhodes, for instance, thoughtfully encourages Annie to start baking again -- turns prematurely physical after only a few social encounters.

This is in keeping with the long-standing, utterly loveless affair linking Annie with wealthy, frivolous Ted (Jon Hamm). As revealed in that opening scene, which also features some obscene dialogue, their bond is strictly zoological.

Although Annie's willingness to play along with this base arrangement is presented as a symptom of her lack of self-respect, that doesn't prevent the screenwriters from trying to make comic hay out of it.

On the whole, then, this is one wedding that deserves a bad reception.

The film contains explicit nonmarital sexual activity, much sexual and scatological humor, a same-gender kiss, at least a half-dozen uses of profanity and pervasive rough and crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is O -- morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America 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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Thomas Aquinas: By universal consent, Thomas Aquinas is the preeminent spokesman of the Catholic tradition of reason and of divine revelation. He is one of the great teachers of the medieval Catholic Church, honored with the titles Doctor of the Church and Angelic Doctor. 
<p>At five he was given to the Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino in his parents’ hopes that he would choose that way of life and eventually became abbot. In 1239 he was sent to Naples to complete his studies. It was here that he was first attracted to Aristotle’s philosophy. </p><p>By 1243, Thomas abandoned his family’s plans for him and joined the Dominicans, much to his mother’s dismay. On her order, Thomas was captured by his brother and kept at home for over a year. </p><p>Once free, he went to Paris and then to Cologne, where he finished his studies with Albert the Great. He held two professorships at Paris, lived at the court of Pope Urban IV, directed the Dominican schools at Rome and Viterbo, combated adversaries of the mendicants, as well as the Averroists, and argued with some Franciscans about Aristotelianism. </p><p>His greatest contribution to the Catholic Church is his writings. The unity, harmony and continuity of faith and reason, of revealed and natural human knowledge, pervades his writings. One might expect Thomas, as a man of the gospel, to be an ardent defender of revealed truth. But he was broad enough, deep enough, to see the whole natural order as coming from God the Creator, and to see reason as a divine gift to be highly cherished. </p><p>The <i>Summa Theologiae</i>, his last and, unfortunately, uncompleted work, deals with the whole of Catholic theology. He stopped work on it after celebrating Mass on December 6, 1273. When asked why he stopped writing, he replied, “I cannot go on.... All that I have written seems to me like so much straw compared to what I have seen and what has been revealed to me.” He died March 7, 1274.</p> American Catholic Blog We talk often about how we are God’s “hands and feet,” which is true. That being said, we can’t fall into the trap of thinking God needs us like we need Him. He’s God—which makes the reality that He wants to use us and be in a relationship with us an even sweeter, more profound truth.

 
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