Reviewed by: Halyna Barannik
|Featuring:||Edward Norton, Eli Wallach, Jenna Elfman, Ron Rifkin, Ben Stiller|
|Director:||Edward Norton, Anastas Michos|
|Producer:||Howard W. “Hawk” Koch Jr., Edward Norton, Howard Koch, Stuart Blumberg|
Just because “Keeping the Faith” alludes to religion in its title and the main characters are men of the cloth, a rabbi and a priest, doesn’t mean this movie is spiritually uplifting. It isn’t.
Edward Norton plays Father Brian and Ben Stiller plays Rabbi Jacob. They are childhood friends who have committed their lives to their respective faiths. And if it weren’t for the arrival of their childhood friend Anna (Jenna Elfman), who knows what would have happened? Maybe something spiritual.
But Anna does come back as she visits them while on a business trip. And of course these young men are young men, testosterone intact, and they both fall for her. However, she is interested only in Rabbi Jacob. Chemistry, I suppose. They keep their romance a secret from their best friend, Brian. They unabashedly have sex, without giving morality another thought. When Father Brian finds out about them, he goes to a bar to drink his woes away.
The premise of the movie—namely, best friends and people involved with religious service falling for the same woman—could be the makings of a thought-provoking movie. Or it could be a hilarious comedy. “Keeping the Faith” strives for both and is only marginally successful.
As for spiritual considerations, there is not a speck of concern over the immorality depicted. Artistically, this is a very disappointing movie that underutilizes the considerable talents of Stiller and Norton. Maybe next time.