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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Young Adult

By
Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.
Source: AmericanCatholic.org

In Jason Reitman’s new film, written by Diablo Cody who won an Oscar for “Juno” (2008), the young adult of their film is a divorced, disturbed, alcoholic ghostwriter of adolescent fiction named Mavis, played by Charlize Theron.
 
“Young Adult” tries hard to be witty but it falls flat at every turn. It is a bleak excursion into the soul of a person who does not even realize she has one. Even the one likeable character, Matt, played by Patton Oswalt, loses his footing and falls prey to Mavis’ bleak search for what she cannot have and certainly does not deserve.
 
When Mavis receives an email announcing the birth of the daughter of an old high school flame, Buddy, played by Patrick Wilson, she gets it into her head that Buddy needs to be rescued from the marriage trap of their small town. She barges in and tries to attract him even as her own career is tanking. The confrontation comes at the baby’s “naming ceremony”, you know, not religious or anything like that as Buddy explains.
 
To be fair, we find out that Mavis has a deep hidden sorrow that most audiences would sympathize with, but the story is so over acted and under developed, that we just want Mavis to go away at the end and leave the world alone. Buddy and his wife, as pagan as they seem, are actually very charitable toward Mavis who is too blind to even notice.
 
Matt’s sister Sandra, played by Colette Wolfe, wants to escape her world, too, but the advice she gives Mavis is so bleak and borne of her own unfruitful life, that I could only speculate as to why on earth anyone made this movie.
 
The couple sitting next to me seemed happy with the film so I asked the young man, “Did you like it?” He responded, “Yes, I did. I didn’t even want to come but I did like it.” I asked him why and he said smiling, “Because it was a wreck, her life was a wreck.” I replied that I didn’t like the film at all. “Maybe because it didn’t have closure, “ he said. “No, I didn’t like it because it didn’t have an opening for anything – no joy, no grace, no relationships.” I know it didn’t make me happy to think that there may be young adults out there trying to muddle through life without a goal, meaning, friends or counting on their family when things are difficult, as clueless as they may be. Why celebrate pain or a train wreck? Where is family and community? Yes, some young adults are lost but hopefully seeking. Mavis is just sinking.

  Not even Oscar winner Charlize Theron can save this movie.


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Andrew Dung-Lac and Companions: Andrew Dung-Lac was one of 117 people martyred in Vietnam between 1820 and 1862. Members of this group were beatified on four different occasions between 1900 and 1951. All were canonized by St. John Paul II. 
<p>Christianity came to Vietnam (then three separate kingdoms) through the Portuguese. Jesuits opened the first permanent mission at Da Nang in 1615. They ministered to Japanese Catholics who had been driven from Japan. </p><p>The king of one of the kingdoms banned all foreign missionaries and tried to make all Vietnamese deny their faith by trampling on a crucifix. Like the priest-holes in Ireland during English persecution, many hiding places were offered in homes of the faithful. </p><p>Severe persecutions were again launched three times in the 19th century. During the six decades after 1820, between 100,000 and 300,000 Catholics were killed or subjected to great hardship. Foreign missionaries martyred in the first wave included priests of the Paris Mission Society, and Spanish Dominican priests and tertiaries. </p><p>Persecution broke out again in 1847 when the emperor suspected foreign missionaries and Vietnamese Christians of sympathizing with a rebellion led by of one of his sons. </p><p>The last of the martyrs were 17 laypersons, one of them a 9-year-old, executed in 1862. That year a treaty with France guaranteed religious freedom to Catholics, but it did not stop all persecution. </p><p>By 1954 there were over a million and a half Catholics—about seven percent of the population—in the north. Buddhists represented about 60 percent. Persistent persecution forced some 670,000 Catholics to abandon lands, homes and possessions and flee to the south. In 1964, there were still 833,000 Catholics in the north, but many were in prison. In the south, Catholics were enjoying the first decade of religious freedom in centuries, their numbers swelled by refugees. </p><p>During the Vietnamese war, Catholics again suffered in the north, and again moved to the south in great numbers. Now the whole country is under Communist rule.</p> American Catholic Blog To replace our sins with virtues may seem like a daunting task, but fortunately we can follow the example of the saints who have 
successfully defeated these sins in their lifetimes. They provide us with a way forward so that we, too, can live holy, virtuous lives.

 
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