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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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Maria Goretti: One of the largest crowds ever assembled for a canonization—250,000—symbolized the reaction of millions touched by the simple story of Maria Goretti. 
<p>She was the daughter of a poor Italian tenant farmer, had no chance to go to school, never learned to read or write. When she made her First Communion not long before her death at age 12, she was one of the larger and somewhat backward members of the class. </p><p>On a hot afternoon in July, Maria was sitting at the top of the stairs of her house, mending a shirt. She was not quite 12 years old, but physically mature. A cart stopped outside, and a neighbor, Alessandro, 18 years old, ran up the stairs. He seized her and pulled her into a bedroom. She struggled and tried to call for help. “No, God does not wish it," she cried out. "It is a sin. You would go to hell for it.” Alessandro began striking at her blindly with a long dagger. </p><p>She was taken to a hospital. Her last hours were marked by the usual simple compassion of the good—concern about where her mother would sleep, forgiveness of her murderer (she had been in fear of him, but did not say anything lest she cause trouble to his family) and her devout welcoming of Viaticum, her last Holy Communion. She died about 24 hours after the attack. </p><p>Her murderer was sentenced to 30 years in prison. For a long time he was unrepentant and surly. One night he had a dream or vision of Maria, gathering flowers and offering them to him. His life changed. When he was released after 27 years, his first act was to go to beg the forgiveness of Maria’s mother. </p><p>Devotion to the young martyr grew, miracles were worked, and in less than half a century she was canonized. At her beatification in 1947, her mother (then 82), two sisters and a brother appeared with Pope Pius XII on the balcony of St. Peter’s. Three years later, at her canonization, a 66-year-old Alessandro Serenelli knelt among the quarter-million people and cried tears of joy.</p> American Catholic Blog Lord, may the medals we wear be constant reminders of the lives they depict. While wearing them, may we be blessed through the saints’ intercession and protected from harm. Help us to continue to spread the messages of Jesus and Mary and the saints and angels.

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