“What else is new?”

That was the reaction of the Catholic League to the negative portrayal of Polish-Catholics in Fox Searchlight’s “Polish Wedding.” League director of communications Rick Hinshaw viewed the movie and offered the following observations:

“The real target of this caricature is the Polish-American working class, whose marriages are portrayed as the loveless results of out-of-wedlock pregnancies. Polish women in this movie, according to one reviewer, ‘know how to lift their skirts, but not how to unwrap a condom.’

“Not surprisingly, their Catholic faith is made the object of rank hypocrisy. There is the mother, Jadzia, who prays before a statue of the Virgin Mary as she returns home from a tryst with her lover; the promiscuous daughter, Hala, who aspires to be the Church’s model of purity by crowning the Virgin’s statue at the May procession; and the priest, who assaults the pregnant Hala for ruining the May crowning.

“All in all, it’s simply more of the same in terms of what we’ve come to expect from Hollywood. When the Catholic Church is not the primary target of an in-your-face attack—as in the Disney/Miramax production, ‘Priest’—it must at least have a supporting role in contributing to familial and societal dysfunctions. Rarely, if ever, is there a positive role for the Church in movie portrayals of Catholicism.”

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