By John Mulderig
Catholic News Service
Catholic News Service
NEW YORK (CNS) — If everyone in the world would just abandon belief in God, peace would prevail and life would be one long, joyous, pansexual, narcotics-fueled love-in.
That’s the moronic message of "Sausage Party" (Columbia), a disgusting spitball of an animated comedy from directors Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan.
The supposedly humorous effect of having cartoon characters, who would normally be associated with children’s films, spout obscenities has, of course, been aimed at before in Hollywood. The big-screen version of "Fritz the Cat," for instance, dates back to 1972. But to have such figures push an atheist agenda while glorifying the basest forms of carnality would appear to represent a new low for the entertainment industry.
This nadir is reached by way of a story about the inhabitants of a suburban supermarket, most prominently a sausage named Frank (voice of Seth Rogen, who also co-wrote) and his girlfriend, a bun called Brenda (voice of Kristen Wiig). Together with their fellow shelf dwellers, Frank and Brenda believe that an ecstatic existence awaits them in "the Great Beyond" once human shoppers, whom they worship as gods, choose them and bring them home.
Among other things, the couple look forward to being released from their respective packages and united in the culinary equivalent of sexual bonding. Viewed with a leer, this prospect becomes the excuse for endless smirking, sophomoric wordplay.
But then a returned jar of honey mustard (voiced by Danny McBride), traumatized by his experience beyond the store’s walls, reveals how people actually treat their edibles. Though most of the other products refuse to believe his harrowing account, Frank is bold — and intellectually honest — enough to set out on a quest for the truth.
An insult to believers of every stripe, this libido idolizing film — whose cast also includes Michael Cera, Jonah Hill and Salma Hayek (as a lesbian taco) — portrays all religion as a con job that leads to violent divisiveness and sexual repression. Thus the eventual overthrow of the store’s prevailing mythology is celebrated by a mass orgy that’s supposed to count as a happy ending.
The film contains pervasive blasphemy, a debased view of human sexuality, including a frivolous attitude toward perverse acts, graphic obscene images, benignly viewed drug use, about a half-dozen instances of profanity and relentless rough and crude language. The Catholic News Service classification is O — morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.
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Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.