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A Tough Week for Anti-Christian Entertainment

This has been a rough week for anti-Christian Hollywood.

First, a virulently anti-Catholic movie called "The Perfect Family" netted a whopping $14,301. That's right. $14,301. Kirk Cameron movies make more than that. I think Mel Gibson's "The Beaver" made more than that.

Hollywood must be stunned. Who'd a thunk that a movie that mocks Catholics and has all the star power that made VI Warshawski such a big hit, would become a failure.

And then the nasty "GCB" which, of course, stands for "Good Christian B*tches" got cancelled for dismal ratings. For those who didn't get to know GCB because they had less "episodes" than Lindsey Lohan, it was a lot like "Desperate Houswives" but without the redeeming values.

You'd almost start to think that Hollywood would start getting a clue that making a mockery of Christianity isn't the way to financial success.

But you've got to read a bit about this movie to really appreicate how absurd it really was. The Catholic Sentinel wrote about it:

The film's opening scene sets the perplexing and often sacrilegious tone.

Eileen Cleary (Kathleen Turner), supermom and "ultimate Catholic," is the altar server at Mass, assisting Msgr. Murphy (Richard Chamberlain, channeling his Father de Bricassart role from "The Thorn Birds"). It's time for Communion, and Eileen holds a platter of consecrated hosts. The monsignor turns to her, takes a host, then turns to the communicant and offers the Eucharist.

That detail -- entirely alien, of course, to the reality of Catholic liturgy -- is a pretty good hint that no one involved in this bilious project has any familiarity whatever with the life of the church they're attacking.

Distracted, Eileen brushes lint from her server's robe, jostles the platter, and several hosts fall to the ground. She proceeds to kick the body of Christ under the altar so the monsignor will not notice what's happened.

"The Perfect Family" sinks even lower. The parish announces the "Catholic Woman of the Year Award," setting up a vicious rivalry between Eileen and a den of superficially pious vipers. The award will be presented by the archbishop of Dublin, who will bestow the "prayer of absolution" on the winner, wiping away all her sins.
Here's the thing - if you're going to make fun of us, at least do it in an intelligent manner. At least make it funny because it's true, not funny because it's mocking a caricature that the elites conjure up in order to make it easy to dismiss them.

Note to the elites: If you read Jen Fulwiler, Simcha, Sherry Antonetti or LarryD you know that Catholicism can be funny. If you want to make fun of us, make fun of US, not a straw man. 'Cause I'll be honest. We make fun of you guys all the time.

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LarryD said...

Dear Hollywood elites - Matt and Pat Archbold are way funnier than me.

Kaneda said...

The thing is, some of these people don't realize it's more damaging to do crude little jokes every once in a while rather than a movie that seems to focus entirely on bashing Catholics. Subtlety gets you places, if you're trying to send a message.

Sophia's Favorite said...

I remain convinced they no longer know strawmen from real.

M. Swaim said...

My favorite line from the trailer was the obviously St Thomas Aquinas-inspired, "I don't have to think- I'm Catholic!"

M. Swaim said...

BTW, watching another anti-Catholic movie, Kevin Smith’s “Dogma,” actually was a step in my own conversion to Catholicism. Some people may remember how blasphemously it depicted aspects of the Church, but as a non-Catholic Christian, I remembered watching it and thinking to myself, “you couldn’t make this kind of movie about Presbyterians.” And oddly enough, I found myself thinking of the Church not just sympathetically, but even favorably as I watched it.

Mary De Voe said...

"We make fun of you guys all the time." The geriatric Turner and Chamberlain are sure to impress the inculturated youth.

Gail Finke said...

"We make fun of you guys all the time." hee hee

Steve "scotju" Dalton said...

The jerks in Hollywood that make these movies probably know they're going to lose money on them. I honestly believe they make these movies to project their hatred and dislike of anything Christian. But what they're projecting is their own moral failings from their lives on to Christians who don't have their faults. if the Christians of America want to put a stop to this garbage, support people like Kirk Cameron and Mel Gibson who, in spite of their flaws, have a talent for turning out movies that support what we believe in. Support them by buying tickets, pray for them, if you have money to risk, if they allow it, invest in their companies, and write to the editors of your newspapers and favorite websites and praise their movies. And another thing you can do is send e-mails and snail mails to Hollywood saying, "This is the ticket money you could have had, but since you want to produce garbage that trashes my faith and moral values, it's going to people who will respect them." And fellow CMR readers, boycott mainstream Hollywood's good movies too. That's where they get the money to make filth like GCB.

Anonymous said...

Actually, "Dogma" at least took some aspects of Catholicism seriously. True, the "mother nature" God was pretty lame, as was the re-incarnation, but the basic plot took Catholic premises as true - e.g., what you bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven. The Bishop actually had the authority that Catholic Bishops proclaim (Carlin was also pretty funny for a change). And "Buddy Jesus" is a self-inflicted wound. As irreverant and blasphemous as Dogma was, it did at least take Catholicism somewhat at its word.

Christina said...

This reminds me of both a Chick track and Dogma. With both I started laughing because they just didn't have a clue. And both times the friends who had shown them to me with the hope of opening my eyes were stunned at my laughter.

Anonymous said...

supermom ... is the altar server at Mass

Proof positive they have never set foot inside a Mass. The trick to pulling off comedy/satire is that you have to make it close to the truth, or it loses all effect.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous does have a point. While I still put "Dogma" squarely into the anti-Christian category, at least it had some scraps of intelligent dialog regarding faith. And the whole "Buddy Jesus" is almost more of an interesting commentary on how progressive Catholics are trying to "water down" the faith.

Subvet said...

Drivel like this hits the big screen, then we wonder why so many Catholic haters haven't a clue about Church teaching? William James said: "There's nothing so absurd that if you repeat it often enough, people will believe it."

Though often misattributed to Joseph Goebbels, the basic premise is true. There is no lie about the Church so outlandish that it won't gain traction if repeated often enough.

SherryTex said...

Honored to be in such company. What they don't get is we Catholics also sometimes go to the movies...and we don't go to be insulted in addition to being bored by faded glories pretending they know something about us.

Scott W. said...

14k was it's opening weekend it looks like. Now it's gross is 53.2k. Still weaksauce by any Hollywood standard. I couldn't find the production budget for this one, but given the cast, I find it hard to believe this was shot for less than a few multi-mils.

Fr Levi said...

This is the perfect approach to take with rubbish like this - laugh at it & mock it, rather than getting all offended & staging protests and turning it into the next Da Vinci Cod (purposeful mispelling :-) ... )

Anonymous said...

I'm not so quick to rejoice in the passing of GCB. It wasn't a very well written or directed show so it's failure is no surprise. But though the characters or should I say caricatures were broadly written vain and venial, I never saw Christianity itself ridiculed. . I wasn't a religious watcher, but the closest to a critique of religion was making fun of the elaborate Easter Pageants of mega-churches, which I've read evangelicals themselves ridicule. The minister himself was always shown as the sane one trying patiently to guide his clearly misguided flock.
But I defend it because the show did something few Hollywood shows or movies do; it acknowledged that, at least in such exotic places as Texas, Christians do in fact exist.

RCR_Chris said...

I didn't think Dogma was the strongest thing Smith's done, but the saddest thing about it is that Smith is a self identified Catholic, who doesn't know what the Catholic church teaches & disagrees with what he thinks it teaches.

At least he doesn't claim to be "Catholic, but I don't believe in God..."

Anonymous said...

So easy to bash a movie just because it says a few things about some Catholics.
So easy to use what people who are 100% negative about any movie that does not say that it is a sin not to believe in God and that Catholic people are all so good people who do nothing wrong, and that any people outside that are so bad people.
It's so easy to take only the most negative reviews/articles from people who will bash anything that is not 100% pro Catholic, and take extracts to make readers think that the movie is really horrible. So that of course they just follow and don't go and see the movie and see and think by themselves. Because they have to follow blindly what they are told of course, or they would not be good Catholics.
Oh and yes, there are some mistakes in the movie. But that happens on a lot of topics in a lot of movies.
And no, that's not because there are Kathleen Turner and others that it was a high budget movie.

Anonymous said...

I thought the Lindsay Lohan joke was a bit low...

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I didn't mean for the last comment to be sassy, but I just really don't like the jabs at people with such sad lives.

Deacon Bill Gallerizzo said...

As a scientist and teacher for 40 years, I have been horrified at how many of the current generation and many of their icons makes up their own reality. The first problem is that as they make up their own reality, they believe that all reality is made up by people like themselves. Therefore there is not delineation between reality and fantasy. The second problem is in the past, they were seen as crackpots or misinformed; today they generate scores of followers thanks to internet proliferation. Good case in point, it took me three months to convince one of my students that there are not the soccerball-sized robotic spiders crawling on the moon that he saw in a Sci-fi movie. The first move was to convince him that there is a difference between Science and Sci-fi.

Anonymous said...

Richard Chamberlain? Really? 'nuff said.

Anthony S. Layne said...

@Anonymous 9:33 AM: So easy to bash people by saying "So easy to (insert exaggeration here)." Much easier than writing a substantive rebuttal demonstrating how really well-written and knowledgeable the movie was. So easy to inflate the actual content of the mockery by putting words in the author's mouth. And, of course, it's so easy to trot out the "blind obedience" trope, because it always gets a laugh among free-thinking non-Catholics. (Gets a laugh out of us Catholics, too, for different reasons.)

I could go on like this all day, but I would rather have a steak to go with that whine.

Malverdip said...

The movie made $53,000 !!!! Yes, it did, go to imdb if you don't believe... Incredible it made so much money. ;)

ThePlanComesTogether said...

When I hear of something like this, I let them know how I feel. IMDB.com: 1 star. rottentomatoes.com 1/2 star.

Anonymous said...

@Anthony S. Layne
No, I didn't laugh at Catholic people when I watched the movie.
And I never took Turner's character to represent all Catholic people. It's one character in one movie.
Because, in every group (not only about religion, but sports, science, families...) there are good and bad people, and a lot right in between.
But it puzzles me to see many of the Catholic people who review the movie bash it because of Turner's character and because it shows priests... who are not ultra conservative (interpretated as something negative by those same Catholic reviewers).
I guess they completely forget what Catholics did when persecuting people and making them give up their own religions to become Catholic, just because they thought Catholicism was superior and the only way. Which seriously does not give me a good opinion about Catholicism.
But this is the opposite with the movie, because of the reactions of the priest/bishop... and because the family is united again, even with their differences about religion and points of views, they can be there for each other. Which is, to me, a nice message.
But I guess it's not enough when I read those reviews and comments.

Bill said...

In my novel "The World's Funniest Atheist" I tried to make sure the main character made fun of truly Catholic practices and beliefs. And them, much to his horror, he's suddenly given the gift of faith. N-o-o-o-o-o-o!

Available on Kindle

Micha Elyi said...

"I guess they completely forget what Catholics did when persecuting people and making them give up their own religions to become Catholic, just because they thought Catholicism was superior and the only way."
-Coward of 5:36 PM

I agree you're guessing. Go ahead, if what you claim was ever so common then name ten such Catholics and ten of their forced converts. You can't can you?

"Which seriously does not give me a good opinion about Catholicism."

You certainly haven't got a well informed opinion about Catholicism. And that's not good.

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