Keeping The Faith

In his directorial debut, actor Edward Norton plays a Catholic priest who, along with his best friend, a rabbi (Ben Stiller), falls for a woman (Jenna Elfman) whom apparently neither of them can marry. This isn’t quite a comedy, but the overall mood is light and warm and the charm of the three leads makes it a movie worth seeing. As a director, Norton bites off more than he can chewhe doesn’t seem to know how to handle sight gags, and some material about Stiller’s unseen brother suggests that either Stuart Blumberg’s screenplay is disjointed or a lot of footage got discarded. The handling of New York settings is pretty good, and so are the costars, including Anne Bancroft, Eli Wallach, and Milos Forman in parental and/or avuncular parts. 128 min. (JR)

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