Blasphemous Movie to Open June 30

The Little HoursCommentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

A protest is evolving against a new movie, The Little Hours, which is a so-called American “comedy” based on the story of a servant boy who takes shelter in a very dysfunctional convent where the nuns outdo one another in their haste to seduce him. 

Set in the 14th century, the film is about a handsome servant named Masseto (Dave Franco) who was thrown out of Malaspina Castle for having an affair with the mistress of the house. He is banished from the land and takes refuge in the convent where he’s hired on as a handyman. The nuns in the convent mistake him for a deaf-mute and fall all over themselves trying to seduce him.

“Sister Alessandra is the spoiled brat, stuck in the convent by an otherwise wealthy dad (Paul Reiser) who can’t afford to pay her dowry,” writes Peter Debruge for Variety.

“Sister Ginerva is the busybody, constantly sticking her nose in other people’s business, as if to distract from certain unnatural temptations. And Sister Fernanda is the party gal, sneaking off into the woods to commune with the wild, witchy women who dwell there (overseen by “Girls” rebel Jemima Kirke). Meanwhile, totally overwhelmed trying to deal with their hysterical young charges are the always-soused Father Tommasso (John C. Reilly) and beatific Sister Marea (Molly Shannon), who are having trouble respecting their own vows of chastity.”

It’s the typical gross mischaracterization of Catholic religious that seems to tickle the fancy of the same people who cry foul if anyone insults Muslims, blacks, homosexuals, or women. For some reason, these Hollywood elites don’t bat a fake eyelash when criticizing Catholics. Go figure.

The writer of this bigoted tale is American satirist Jeff Baena (Life After Beth, Joshy) who loosely based the story on a collection of medieval novellas entitled, The Decameron, and recreated one of the stories “with an irreverent modern sensibility.” (This is code for disrespecting Christianity.)

“Though it all takes place in a religious context, Baena doesn’t pay those beliefs much mind, other than to slyly suggest how the church itself was put in place to repress the natural desires of its congregation,” Debruge writes, as if his opinion about the church’s motives has somehow become a fact.

But what do the facts matter anyway? This won’t be the first time Hollywood gave gushing reviews to a silly caricature of Catholicism.

Writing for the Los Angeles Times, movie critic Justin Chang applauds the movie’s stars – Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, and Kate Micucci – for being “a wicked trio of mean-girl nuns who drop more expletives than Hail Marys, get drunk on sacramental wine and think nothing of sexually assaulting the hunky new handyman.”

Even though he laments how the humor gets a bit “one-joke,” Chang says The Little Hours is “nonetheless a cohesive vision.”

Thankfully, the only people who think this outlandish misrepresentation of the world’s largest religion is a “cohesive vision” are Hollywood types like Baena who are in denial about their own appalling intolerance of anyone who disagrees with their liberal view of the world.

The film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January and is scheduled to be released on June 30 by Gunpowder and Sky.

I’m happy to report that the people who commented on Variety’s article about the movie were almost unanimously appalled by it.

Ken wrote: “This film is incredibly disrespectful to the thousands of religious nuns and priests that strive to live a pure and holy life. The notion that religious are some how forced to live this way or are repressed by the Church is a clear indicator of ignorance. I personally know several religious priests and nuns and they choose to live a life of purity and love for God and their fellow men and women. One example is the Little Sister of the poor who minister to the poor, the sick, and destitute. In a world that seems to be unraveling, these little sisters of the poor keep loving and caring for those who need it even when they are murdered by Isis, which has happened recently. Where is the respect? This movie is a slap in the face of all good religious! No one should support this!”

E. Leon agreed and wrote: “I wholeheartedly recommend that everyone NOT SEE “The Little Hours”. it is another depraved movie for a depraved world, depicting Catholic Nuns contrary to their true innocence and purity. There may be some that stray, but this movie is grossly disrespectful to consecrated women who deserve much better – not to mention that is is sacrilegious and offensive to God. Unfortunately, it is all too much part of the standard of filth that comes from the motion picture industry. How does this help make this a better world? The answer is – it makes the world worse.”

Thankfully, the Church is also fighting back. America Needs Fatima is organizing a protest of the movie, calling it what it is – “an unjust and impure aggression against all Catholic nuns and their admirable and joyful practice of holy chastity for love of God, hatred of the devil, and sacrifice for the salvation of their fellow man.”

As the Women of Grace® Foundational Study teaches, it’s up to us to “save the peace of the world” and to “hold back the hand of man, who, in a moment of folly, might attempt to destroy human civilization.” There’s more than one way to destroy the world. While nuclear weapons are capable of mass destruction of human life, these kinds of hateful and malicious attacks on the faithful are also capable of tearing apart the moral fabric of our world, robbing it of life and love and replacing it with death and hate.

Click here to sign on to the protest.

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