Keeping the Faith
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Childhood best buddies grow up to be both a rabbi (Ben Stiller) and priest (Ed Norton). One fateful day, an old friend (Jenna Elfman) comes back into their lives and shakes everything up. The two men of religion find themselves simultaneously falling in love with her, threatening the future of their friendship.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Not a bad directorial debut if I do say so myself. This movie features a predictable mix of romance and comedy and isnít entirely original but gets the job done. Itís spiced up with a few big laughs and entertaining performances from its three lead actors. Norton is terrific as usual as the hipster priest with a soft heart. He even delves into a dead on Dustin Hoffman Rain Man impression which had me in stitches. Stiller as the rock Ďn roll rabbi has some great moments of Hebrew flavored humor. Heís really coming into his own as one of the premier comedians in Hollywood. Even Jenna Elfman surprised me with a good showing as the no nonsense career woman, looking for love. I donít particular like Dharma and Greg (her TV show) but she seemed to fit her role perfectly. What I really enjoyed about this film were the clashes between the young and old members of the 2 congregations and watching Stiller and Nortonís new age sermons. Look for a scene in which the two look to purchase a karaoke machine from a "crooked" salesman, itís hands down the funniest scene in the movie.
For any comedy on DVD, youíd expect a good gag/blooper reel and this release is no different. You get 8 minutes of hilarious outtakes featuring some of the best moments of the movie. Very funny stuff. Theyíve also managed to squeeze in 10 deleted scenes with optional commentary from Norton and Blumberg. Some of them are all too brief but others are off the wall hilarious, like Stillerís extended nightmare date from hell. Norton mentions that the scenes were trimmed to keep the film from overrunning itís already long 129 minutes. I just wish they wouldíve added an option that allows you to play all the deleted scenes consecutively. The theatrical trailer has also been throw in. The menus, sadly, are just still pictures and feature no sound. All in all, the extras are fun companions which complement the movie well.
After having watched this DVD, I can honestly say that itís a very solid release.. Itís got a funny, romantic story which is definitely good for a few laughs. The extras and commentary were decent too. If itís a Friday night and youíre wandering the aisles of your local video store, looking for a worthy rental, Keeping the Faith is a safe bet.