Keeping The Faith (2000)

(On VHS, November 2001) Every single Ed Norton fan in the audience, please wave your fist in the air and cheer for the guy, who not only turns in yet another great performance, but also convincingly directs his first film with Keeping The Faith. The story sounds a lot like a bad joke (“So this priest walks in a bar, tells how he and a rabbi both fell in love with the same girl…”), but the development of the tale is anything but silly. The three protagonist couldn’t be played better than by Norton, Ben Stiller and Jenna Elfman. Fortunately, they can depend on a rather good script, which not only mixes the inevitable romantic entanglement, but also includes a pretty good comparative look at both Catholics and Jews. This chameleon-like film will play well not only with religious audience of both denomination, but also with less-devout audiences. There’s something to like for everyone, from a karaoke salesman to great shots of New York. (Plus a wonderfully cool bit with our two men of faith walking in slow-motion to Santana’s “Smooth”) Funny, smart and even poignant, you’ll be hard-pressed not to enjoy Keeping The Faith.

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