I Have An Idea For The Next Catholic Movie

Matt Archbold at Creative Minority Report wrote earlier in the week that the movie The Perfect Family had a disastrous opening take:

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.

Now, according to Rotten Tomatoes, The Perfect Family has grossed $53,200 to date.  No, I didn’t mistype that number.  It really has grossed that pitiful amount.  To which I say – hah!

Matt closes his piece with the following salient paragraphs –

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.

First of all, I didn’t include those paragraphs because he happened to mention me.

Second of all, yes I did.

Third of all – he makes an excellent point.  Humor works best when it isn’t faked, contrived or forced.  Truth has to be at its foundation – no one laughs at lies.  Exaggerations, yes.  Lies, no.  We laugh at Dumb and Dumber, for instance, not because it’s impossible for there to be two guys that incredibly stupid, but because a) we know of people who are that stupid (ie: The Darwin Awards), and b) we’ve been stupid at times ourselves.

Read this bit from The Catholic Sentinel, which Matt cites:

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.

That’s supposed to be funny?  Nothing like that would ever happen during a Mass, and even if it did, it wouldn’t be funny.  I’m not saying that because the scene is scandalously sacrilegious.  It.just.isn’t.funny.

Now, I’m not a movie critic, and I’ve never written a screenplay (I’ve tried, and it is difficult) – and I’ll stand happily corrected by professionals such as Steven Greydanus and Barbara Nicolosi – but in my opinion, for a Catholic comedy film to work and be actually watchable, it needs believable characters and a good story – possible only if written by faithful Catholic screenwriters.  People who understand and love the faith and Church so much, that they recognize their own shortcomings and foibles reflected in the truths of the faith, and don’t resort to mocking the faith, but poke fun at themselves.  People who aren’t afraid to stand up and say “Hey world!  I screw up!”, because we all screw up.  Faithful Catholics are the first in line to laugh at themselves – well, most of us, anyway – and a lot of the funny things that happen in life, as evidenced in the blogs Matt mentioned, don’t need embellishment or exaggeration (for example, read today’s post at Sherry’s Chocolate for Your Brain.  Very funny.)

Which leads me to my idea.  The next Catholic movie should be about Catholic bloggers – about stuff that happens to us, about our observations of life around us, about our plans and how God likes to mess with them.  It can go direct to DVD, it doesn’t matter.  If you’re reading, Barbara, here’s my pitch:

“It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad Blog!” – a group of Catholic bloggers, all nominated for “Catholic Humor Blogger Of The Year”, experience misadventures and mishaps as they race each other to the national Catholic blogging convention where the winner will be announced.

Starring (starting with the bloggers Matt noted, included amidst a cast of thousands!):

Debra Messing, as Jen Fulwiler

Photo credit: david_shankbone via VisualHunt / CC BY

Jenna Fischer, as Simcha Fisher

Photo credit: blakespot via VisualHunt / CC BY

Frances McDormand, as Sherry Antonetti

This is a total guess, as Sherry doesn’t have a pic at her blog.

Photo credit: ivoryelephantphotography via VisualHunt / CC BY-ND

Paul Giamatti, as Matt Archbold

Photo credit: gdcgraphics via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-SA

Julian McMahon, as Pat Archbold

Photo credit: benyupp via VisualHunt / CC BY

Samuel L Jackson, as LarryD

I am your brutha in Christ.

Photo credit: cliff1066™ via Visualhunt / CC BY

With special guest appearances:

Jimmy Akin, as Mark Shea

Mark Shea, as Jimmy Akin

Kevin Spacey, as Fr Z

Photo credit: rivier50 via Visual Hunt / CC BY

The Call-to-Action Liturgical Movement Ninjas

Obviously, I can’t include all the bloggers here, so if you’ve been omitted, don’t take it as a slight.  So go ahead and cast yourself – who would play you in the movie?

Once the script is done, it’s off to the agents. And I bet it would gross more than $53,200.

About Larry D

LarryD has been blogging since March 2008, making observations on trends within the culture and the Church. His goal? Poking hornets nests with a stick and injecting humor into the New Evangelization, with the gentle reminder that everyone's taking themselves way too seriously. He currently resides in Michigan.
This entry was posted in All The World's A Blog And We Are Merely Posters, Catholic Bloggers, Humor, Movies. Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to I Have An Idea For The Next Catholic Movie

  1. Sherry says:

    This is so cool…except I had to go google who Francis McDormand is because I’m a nerd of a nerd..but I likey. And yes, we’re secretly twins even though I didn’t know she was in Transformers:Revenge of the Fallen. Will put up a picture.

  2. Jimmy Akins as Mark Shea? Nah, LarryD, it won’t work, JA’s too skinny. John Goodman would be perfect for the role. Just slap a beard on him, and he’s good to go!

  3. jim says:

    the jimmy akin/mark shea thingy just slayed me. i laughed out loud. thanks, LarryD. That sounds like “Thanks, SunnyD!”

  4. Aaron Douglas (of Battlestar Galactica) as me.

  5. johnpaul79 says:

    i think you would be better suited being played by phil hartman larryd just slap some specs on him

  6. thelarryd says:

    You’re saying it’d be better to be portrayed by a dead guy than by a black guy? I’m trying to be diverse and inclusive – but not that diverse and inclusive…

    • johnpaul79 says:

      lol,knew that would get you going, being diverse and inclusive is good but i can,t decide whether casting yourself as samuel l jackson is a prideful boast or just wishful thinking lmao

  7. My jaw dropped when I read about shoving the Eucharist under the altar. Wow. Just wow.

    Jen Fulwiler would have to play herself. She’s much prettier than the actress person. Plus, I don’t know that you can act out the scorpion-filled life without having first lived it. There are limits to the imagination.

  8. CameTheDawn419 says:

    I think this is the hardest I’ve ever laughed at any of your posts (especially the Samuel L. Jackson and the Mark Shea/Jimmy Akin parts), and my younger siblings are wondering why on earth I’m laughing until tears are pouring out of my eyes. I would SO go see that movie in theaters, and I’m a broke college student.:-)

  9. Scott W. says:

    At my former job, every kept calling me David Banner apparently because I look similar to Edward Norton (which I’ll take as a complement)

  10. Barbara Nicolosi says:

    So, who dies? We have to have some death in a movie.

  11. Valentin says:

    If I was over 18 I could be played by Val Kilmer which would be cool because my name is Valentin

  12. Mark P. Shea says:

    Barb: I think Jimmy and I could sacrifice our lives for one another *and* accidently be committing homicide of one another at the same time, while engaged in a debate about who is being heroically self-sacrificial and who is actually killing the other. Heavy.

  13. Pingback: LarryD has some brilliant casting ideas

  14. Ted Seeber says:

    Kevin Smith as me, though I’m not well known enough to be in the movie. But at least he’s a filmmaker (if apostate Catholic) if not a blogger- and despite the horrid language and worse acting, his New Jersey “trilogy” of Jay and Silent Bob films are representative of the growing Ex-Catholic denomination to come to terms with that part of Catholicism they can’t ignore.

  15. Cherie P says:

    I don’t know if anyone needs to die, but if Mark Shea’s in it, there better be torture. But this is a comedy. Hmmm.

    How about this? The Bad Guy decides to torture Mark using the infamous waterboarding technique. Except the Bad Guy is kinda ‘Dumb and Dumber’, so he confuses waterboarding with boogie boarding. Pale beachy hilarity ensues.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Larry D. EVERYTHING YOUR CHARACTER SAYS SHOULD BE SHOUTED, otherwise you will not be utilizing the full talents of your actor.

    I am just wondering who you would cast as Sister Patricia…

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