"Oy."--Rabbi Jake Schram (Ben Stiller) "Amen to your oy."
- Father Brian Kilkenney Finn (Edward Norton)
Total Film - 10/01/2000
"...A sharp script and a trio of well-balanced comic performances....The gags hit exactly the right spot, whether they're slapstick or verbal..." -- 4 out of 5 stars
Sight and Sound - 10/01/2000
"...Fresh and diverting with some shrewd insights..."
In actor Edward Norton's directorial debut, Brian (Norton), a priest, and his best friend, Jake (Ben Stiller), a rabbi, both fall in love with their long-lost childhood friend, Anna (Jenna Elfman), who has returned to Manhattan to pursue her hectic business career. However, Brian has taken a vow of celibacy, and Jake is constantly being set up by Jewish mothers in his temple. The workaholic Anna isn't Jewish, but this doesn't stop her from returning Jake's affection and beginning a relationship that they hide from Brian. As their relationship progresses, complications arise, leading Jake, Brian, and Anna to deal with questions of both religious and romantic faith.
As Rabbi Jake, Stiller once again displays his excellent comic timing, and his scenes with Elfman, Norton, and Anne Bancroft (as Jake's traditional Jewish mother) carry KEEPING THE FAITH. Set in lushly filmed New York City, Norton's film exhudes an innocent charm that's sure to please audiences of all denominations.
KEEPING THE FAITH, Edward Norton's debut as a director, is a charming romantic comedy that harkens back to old Hollywood. In what is essentially the set-up of a traditional joke, a rabbi and a priest find themselves in a tricky situation when a childhood friend, now an attractive businesswoman, reenters their lives.
New York City |
Romantic Comedy |
Theatrical release: April 14, 2000.
Filmed on location in Newark, New Jersey, and New York City, New York.
Given Edward Norton's intense, hard-hitting roles in films such as PRIMAL FEAR, AMERICAN HISTORY X, and FIGHT CLUB, many fans and critics were surprised that his first directorial effort proved to be a romantic comedy.
Milos Forman (who appears in the film as Father Havel) and Norton reversed their usual roles in KEEPING THE FAITH. Previously, Forman had directed Norton in THE PEOPLE VS. LARRY FLYNT.