Why is the St Rita movie being promoted on certain Catholic websites?

I’m not trying to stir the pot, but the movie is awful. People need to be told. FYI here is a review of it I posted on Amazon.

[one star rating]

Do not let the one star deceive you: I am giving this movie a - 3 rating. When I sat down to watch it I knew it wasn’t going to be a biography of St. Rita. The other reviewers had made it clear that it departed from the saint’s life in important aspects, such as the fact that she was coerced into marriage at the age of twelve even though she wanted to enter a convent (rather than fall in love at +/- 22 with a knight who saved a baby (?) from a slaughter he had taken part in).

I had hoped at least for a reasonably good fictitious plot loosely based on the theme of St Rita’s life.

Instead I was served up a smalchy mess stuffed with every C-grade Hollywood cliche imaginable. Main actors who can’t act. Watching Vittoria Belvedere portraying Rita in prayer is painful: she looks bored, waiting for something to distract her which - O happy fortune - just happens to be Martin Crewes coming along, with his long, shaggy hair and short beard (Oh yes, very authentic late mediaeval, that). And the supporting cast - Lord deliver us! One is made aware that these are actors trying to act. When watching this kind of substandard performance, I always imagine that the extras are thinking to themselves: ‘I’m getting paid for this, I’m getting paid for this.’

And for heaven’s sake (literally) can’t someone be found to give the director of a movie like this some idea of how a Catholic nun thinks? Or even just how a Catholic who takes his/her faith seriously, thinks? Robert Bolt, who wrote A Man for All Seasons, was an Agnostic and a member of the Communist Party, but he understood the driving force behind the Catholic ideal better than this movie does.

When I watch a movie, I usually get totally absorbed into it, and only rarely abandon it halfway through. I gave up on this one less than an hour in.

If you want to watch it, good luck, but it has two thumbs down and a raspberry from this reviewer.

Personally, I loved it…and so did others I know who have watched it.

I liked it. But I hear what you’re saying. They made it out like the relationship between St. Rita and her husband was a love at first sight sort of thing. I enjoyed it anyway. I’d just hate for someone who doesn’t know her real story to get any kind of negative impression.

Congratulations-! You just gave FREE PUBLICITY to a movie you dislike. As a result of that free publicity, I (and needless to say, others) went to amazon.com just to see what all the fuss is about. Apparently, one of the most favorable reviews on the amazon.com page is from Anne Rice (that Anne Rice) and the average customer rating is 3 1/2 stars. Any other under-publicized, under-promoted movies you’d like to reward with some free publicity? I had never heard of this St. Rita until you had posted about it. :slight_smile:

I got hot under the collar only when I saw the movie advertised on this site (top right hand corner of the page). I went to the bookstore page and found the DVD cover pic and this blurb: Famous as the patron of hopeless situations, St. Rita of Cascia is immortalized in this wonderful, deeply moving film about this beautiful woman who lived in Italy in the 14th century. Ah!

Of the 44 reviews on Amazon, 5 are 2-star and 10 1-star. They are informative and worth a read.

The fact that Anne Rice likes the movie only confirms my impressions of it (I wish her well, but come on…)

I have to agree with BOTH of you! The real question here is why is Ignatius Press selling and promoting this movie, when it is not a remotely accurate portrayal of the life of St Rita, nor is it well acted or educational (show this to one’s children?).

I copied this ‘extreme’ one star review from Amazon, that makes the point in a simple and straightforward way.

      **Sacrilege and robbery?**, February 5, 2012                       By 

Liz J - See all my reviews

            **This review is from: Saint Rita (DVD)**       

These two words sprang instantly to mind, as I abandoned watching this film less than an hour in.

The utter misrepresentation of the life of St Rita, that portrays her as a ‘mooning’ girl in her twenties, looking for a husband (in reality she wished to enter a convent at the age of 12) at the town’s social events, in conjunction with a total lack of any religious feeling or conviction shown in her character is an abuse of a holy person - and - is an insult to the great St Rita (who was forced into marriage with a brutal husband, and bore her two children and her suffering as only a Catholic saint would.)

The ‘action’ scenes are more about her kissing her ‘true-love’ and their subsequent bedroom intimacies once married, than about any sword-play that the cover leads you to believe. Totally unsuitable viewing for Catholics of any age!

Ignatius Press should bow their heads in shame for promoting and selling such a misleading movie and make a restitution of their ill-gained profits to a suitable charity.

I liked what a saw of the movie.

Rita is a catholic saint and that is the only criteria I can see for a catholic store promoting/selling it.

I suppose you have a problem with EWTN showing the film as well?

Anne Rice hasn’t written anything dark or silly about vampires or ghosts, since the late 1990s, and since her reconversion to faith… Now if Stephenie Meyer liked it on the other hand, then you’d have something to go with.

But then again, I guess her work as a “christian writer” has been a bit tame at best… Perhaps that’s what you were reffering to?

Anne Rice left the church in 2010: theblaze.com/stories/exclusive-vampire-author-anne-rice-explains-why-she-abandoned-catholicism-the-bible/

I can see why the OP would be skeptical about her review of the film.

Yes, that’s it.

So EWTN are promoting it too? Surprises me but doesn’t change anything.

Nor do the negative reviews on Amazon.

oh well I didn’t know that…

Seems like she’s struggling with her past and the fact her book wasn’t received very well. I hope she doesn’t return to her earlier stuff anyway.

Now that I don’t feel quite so :mad:, just wanted to say that the overall feeling is one of disappointment really! I mean, if the movie is about St Rita’s life, then at least the Director should have kept to the known facts about her, and not ‘made up’ a story of her life that suited them and would sell more movies.

Have to agree that this movie should not be sold or promoted by Catholic organisations as it currently stands…perhaps they should review the movie before doing so, and put a warning on it stating that it - “departs from known facts for the sake of artistic interpretation” or “this is not an actual portrayal of the life of this saint” - or something to that effect.:shrug:

I watched this because St. Rita is my chosen saint. It was confusing to watch b/c I knew she wanted to enter a convent instead of marrying and that her husband was cruel to her. He also didn’t change his ways for many years after marrying her, and sure wasn’t Prince Charming.

With all that said, while I was somewhat disappointed, I thought it wasn’t too horrible for what it was. It reminded me of my reaction to The Mists of Avalon. Loved the movie until I read the book, and then was disappointed. Re-watched and realized I could like both.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.