St. Spoiler and the Martyr of the Movies

So I’m sitting in church on Palm Sunday and the priest asks, “Are any of you fans of Joel and Ethan Coen?”

The Coen Brothers? I love the Coen Brothers! I’ve seen all their movies, some of them five or six times! OK, I haven’t gotten around to A Serious Man yet, but all the others? Absolutely! I even liked The Hudsucker Proxy! The Coen Brothers RULE!

I raised my hand.

He continued. “Yes, me too. I enjoy their movies very much — and I’d like to tell you a little about how the Coen Brothers movie A Serious Man relates to the story of Palm Sunday.”

He explained the plot, not really giving up anything that you wouldn’t find by reading a few reviews. But what he said next nearly had me jumping out of my seat. “And then, at the end of the film there’s a real twist…”

Please don’t.

“Just when the main character thinks…”


“That’s when…”

Oh, no!

Usually when I don’t want to hear something I put my hands over my ears and go “Lalalalalalalalalalalalala…” but uring mass on Palm Sunday did not seem like the time or place to do this. I just sat and gritted my teeth took it.

I had this happen once before in church. A priest was railing against the ending of Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby, which he described in perfect detail for those in the congrgation who had not seen the film. People like me.

Well, now I know exactly how A Serious Man ends, just like I know how Blood Simple and The Big Lebowski end. I still enjoy seeing those — but the difference is  I didn’t know how they ended the first time I saw them.

Look: I really appreciate using cultural references to make a point during the homily. It livens things up and makes your sermon much more interesting and accessible. But please, no more movie spoilers at church. I’m quite sure Jesus would say that’s not cool.

11 responses to “St. Spoiler and the Martyr of the Movies

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *