Stuart Saves His Family

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2

STUART SAVES HIS FAMILY is a tongue-in-cheek spoof on all the self-help groups out there. Al Franken of "Saturday Night Live" fame is Stuart Smalley, the host of a New Age show entitled "Daily Affirmation" which focuses on healing one's inner child. Smalley talks openly on his show about growing up in an alcoholic family. But when his Aunt Paula dies and he has to go home for her funeral, the audience gets a first hand look at a very dysfunctional family. A fault-finding mom, a drunken father, a drug addicted brother, and food addicted sister make up the family. With Stuart leaning toward homosexuality, no dysfunction is left out. Julia (Laura San Giacomo), one of Stuart's sponsors, tries to encourage him to heal himself instead of his family. When the drunken father accidentally shoots Stuart's brother, Stuart initiates steps to get him help through a family intervention. Some of the situations are funny, but this five-minute "Saturday Night Live" skit is stretched into two very long hours.

This movie jumps from definite outrageousness to truly sad situations. For example, Julia gives a very touching performance about being abused as a child by her father. And in the next scene, Stuart is scarfing down 15 boxes of fig newtons to deal with his depression. As a viewer, it's difficult not to laugh at their excessive over-reacting. It is comical. However, a father and mother constantly degrading their child by calling him a waste of space is sad and disturbing. Listening to a family whining, swearing and degrading each other is tiresome, not entertaining. STUART SAVES HIS FAMILY is a candid, explicit look at drug addiction and its destructiveness to the lives of the people it touches. Stuart's brother does decide to quit drinking and doing drugs; however, his father does not change. The TV show makes fun of the New Age philosophy of self-help and illustrates how shallow and phony it really is. Although this film has no sexual content or nudity, it has lots of foul language, including many obscenities and profanities. STUART SAVES HIS FAMILY has so many negatives, it becomes a total disaster.

Preview Reviewer: Sherry Oswald
Paramount Communications, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, NY, NY 10023-7780

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (14) times - Mild 8, Moderate 6

Obscene Language: Many (17) times (f-word 1, s-word 7; other 9)

Profanity: Many (21) times - Regular 12 (G-d, J-C); Exclamatory 9

Violence: Few times - Moderate (fist fight; man falls off roof; man electrocuted; another shot and hit in crotch with stick; child hit by car)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (references to male and female anatomy)

Drugs: Many (drugs and drinking addiction made fun of)

Other: New Age philosophy ridiculed; disrespect for casket at funeral

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Teenagers and young adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.