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Keeping the Faith

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Keeping the Faith

Starring: Edward Norton, Ben Stiller
Director: Edward Norton
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 129 Minutes
Release Date: April 2000
Genres: Comedy, Romance

*Also starring: Jenna] Elfman, Eli Wallach, Anne Bancroft, Holland Taylor, Milos Forman, Ron Rifkin, Catherine Lloyd Burns, Rena Sofer

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1.  Susan Granger review follows movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review
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Review by Susan Granger
3 stars out of 4

Cleverly timed for the Passover and Easter season, this is an amusing comedy about "The God Squad," two pious but unconventional young men of religion, directed by actor Edward Norton, who is usually associated with meaty dramas like "Primal Fear," "The People vs. Larry Flynt," "American History X" and "Fight Club." Norton also plays Father Brian Kilkenny Finn - a Roman Catholic priest. Brian's best friend since childhood is now a Jewish rabbi named Jake Schram, played by Ben Stiller. They're living near one another on New York's Upper West Side when Anna Reilly, a young woman whom they grew up with returns to the city on business. That's Jenna Elfman of "EDTV" and "Dharma & Greg." So, instead of one of the old jokes that begins, "A priest and a rabbi and a woman walk into a bar and....," this plot ignites when a priest and a rabbi both care deeply for the same woman. And this is no ordinary woman. She's a high-powered, cell phone-addicted workaholic who firmly believes that with her help God could have created the world in just three days, not seven. But she's certainly not the "nice Jewish girl" whom the synagogue elders had envisioned for their rabbi. And what about the priest's vow of celibacy? The supporting cast is terrific: Anne Bancroft as Jake's mother, Eli Wallach as an open-minded rabbi, and Milos Forman as a compassionate priest. It's just too bad that first-time director Norton didn't call "cut" more often when actor Norton's scenes went on too long and that Stuart Blumberg's utterly predictable script gets a bit verbose, but on the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Keeping the Faith" is a frothy, feel-good 7. In an age of cynicism, it's an amiable, old-fashioned romantic comedy, a light-hearted date movie.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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