Apr 18, 2012

Keeping the Faith, 2000

Keeping the faith, 2000
Director: Edward Norton
Cast: Edward Norton, Jenna Elfman, Ben Stiller

Stage: Home TV selection, nice Wednesday evening after an exhausting day

Keeping The Faith in short: Best friends, a priest and a rabbi, fall in love with the same girl. However, neither of the men can pursue the relationship due to their religious beliefs: the priest cannot break his vow of celibacy and the rabbi cannot marry her since she is not Jewish.

Preps: Well, I have seen this piece in the local theatre. And I think I have seen it afterwards. I am in the mood for this also this evening. It has been hell of the day and I need something relaxing and funny.

As said, I know the point of this piece and the storyline. It is memorable and nice, so you don't need some kind of special state of mind to watch what you know already. I know it won't burn my braincells anyway, but I will have fun. Know this for sure.
So we have a threesome, the funny point deriving from the "old friends come together again, two guys fall for the same woman", kind of plot. The situations that come from two friends fighting for the same woman, can come up either a disaster, funny you could die from, or the average fun stuff. This piece definitely has some highlights and is above average. Most of the situations are closely connected with the fact that one of the guys is a rabi, the other is a priest, the girl is a serious business woman. They know each other from the time they were kids and from a fling two of them turn out to have a more serious affair. When she wants to continue experimenting, he backs off. The point is about getting over burdons (or pre-requisites) you are wearing with you at the time of getting involved with someone. How long lasts a fling, how far can you go before you claim this is a relationship?
I don't usually believe you can do a good cast and be a good director at the same time. In my opinion in this piece Norton did quite a good job. OK, I like Norton by default, however in this piece I cannot complain that some cast was hurt or affected by his directing the piece. While I am watching, I cannot decide, whether she is attractive as hell, or does she have in teeth what Julia Roberts posesses in hers as well, magnitude. The teeth of Anna are enormous. When she laughs or smiles, the smile is through the whole screen. Not that this is something bad. However, it's as unique as it can be and definitely drags attention.
The movie is filled with good script and phrases you need to remember when trying to communicate with your next/existing/previous partner. Plus scenes you need to laugh to. Nice music that keeps you relaxed. Makes you think the movie is supposed to make you enjoy it. The boy practicing and singing at his guy bat mitzvah, for instance (the announcement he's becoming a man, not a boy anymore). Or priest making a scene at that same bat mitzvah. Going to the movies with Anna and half the church members, waiting to catch you doing the wrong thing. The movie is filled with this stuff and I love it.
Up to some extent the story relaxes, on the other hand reveals things are never simple, even if you want to put them or claim them simple. Which job is more important, to the god or to your soul? who do you betray, if you don't follow, him or yourself? And what do you do if you are unlucky and need to leave your faith to be with the one you love? Complicated things, if you want to think about them. However, the movie doesn't reach the depth of this and certainly can leave you just laughing, not thinking deeply about all emotions that are handled in this one.

My personal rating: 6,5 (nice, relaxing, funny. Also deep, if I choose to take it this way. I love the music and I love the energy between main cast).

Keeping the faith on IMDB

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