Stuart Saves His Family (1995)

(On TV, January 2000) A predictable failure; it’s a film inspired by an Saturday Night Live sketch that -for some unfathomable reason- tries to be a family melodrama with a deadly serious earnestness. It features, among other things, a therapy session that plays without a laugh and ends on a note of defeat. Hardly what you’d expect to find, and the rest of the film isn’t necessarily more enjoyable. Protagonist Stuart Smalley is the type of falsely cheerful character you’d love to slap around, and the mixture of faint comedy and high family drama around him simply doesn’t mesh well. It can work if you find the characters interesting and sympathetic… but chances are that you won’t.

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