Mockery of religion in general and Catholicism in particular is commonplace in Hollywood– from Showtime’s “The Borgias” to the recent “Three Stooges” movie which features Kate Upton wearing a “nun-kini.” The latest installment of Catholic-bashing, “The Perfect Family,” is slated to come out May 4 – and predictably stereotypes Catholics who believe and practice what their Church teaches as unfeeling busybodies.
The About section for the “The Perfect Family” declares: “Suburban supermom Eileen Cleary (Academy Award® nominee Kathleen Turner) is the ultimate Catholic.” And indeed, the trailer for the movie perfectly reflects Hollywood’s twisted conception of Catholicism. One quote from Turner’s character reflects the view that faithful Catholics are heartless drones: “Well who cares if you’re happy? You’re living in sin!” Another quote is even more explicitly anti-Catholic: “I don’t have to think! I’m a Catholic!”
The plot of “The Perfect Family” is predictable and formulaic. A “devout Catholic” woman, played by Kathleen Turner, is nominated for the “Catholic Woman of the Year” award by her parish. But her “non-traditional”family – a husband who is a recovering alcoholic, a lesbian daughter about to get married to another woman, and a son having an affair – hinders her from attaining that award, which she covets.
Throughout the movie, Turner’s character attempts to “clean up” her family in order to win that award and undercut a rival at the parish. At the end of the movie, she comes to “accept” her family for who they are.
The implication of the movie is obvious: Catholics who dare to follow the teachings of the Church are brainwashed fools who care nothing for the happiness of others.
The command of the Catholic Church to love homosexuals, as expressed by the Catechism of the Catholic Church, is completely ignored by “The Perfect Family:” “The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.”
The film is also a work of homosexual advocacy, having been screened at the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. In an interview with the Huffington Post, “The Perfect Family” director Anne Renton (herself a lesbian) proudly noted that she directed a 2007 film about straight people in a hypothetical world of homosexuals, “Love is Love,” featuring“Glee” actress Jane Lynch.
The overt homosexual activism of “The Perfect Family” was not lost on critics. Variety’s Ronnie Scheib, in his review of the film, wrote: “The pic's main agenda, preaching religious tolerance toward gays, is rarely presented as even remotely humorous.” In his review, Scheib also noted “the pic's graceless lurching from genteel ‘Sister Act’-type humor to impassioned, melodramatic gay-rights advocacy.”
Hollywood’s portrayal of devout Catholics and religious people in general as nasty, unfeeling bigots is becoming increasingly overt – and less and less resembles reality.