Whatever Works

Rating: O (PG-13)

NEW YORK (CNS) — The following is a capsule review of a movie recently reviewed by the Office for Film & Broadcasting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

A pessimistic New York grouch (Larry David) finds his life transformed when he reluctantly shelters a homeless but irrepressibly cheerful young Southerner (Evan Rachel Wood), and they fall for each other. Though undeniably clever at times, writer-director Woody Allen’s comedy of manners mocks evangelical Christians through the waif’s parents (Patricia Clarkson and Ed Begley Jr.) and heavy-handedly rams home the message that, in a meaningless universe, any path to temporary fulfillment, particularly that of unbridled sexuality, ought to be pursued.

Adultery, implied group sex and homosexual activity, images of full nudity, a suicide theme, some sexual humor, at least one crude and one crass word, and about a dozen uses of profanity.

The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is O — morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

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