Keeping The Faith

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -2

Living in New York Citys Upper West Side, two boys become best friends. Jake and Brian later let a spirited young girl, Anna, into their friendship circle. When Anna moves away, the boys are devastated but, years later, she returns to pay them a visit. By this time, Jake (Ben Stiller) has become a committed Jewish rabbi and Brian (Edward Norton), a young, dedicated Catholic priest. Still best friends, the two young men are unconventional and employ very contemporary methods in their ministries. And Anna (Jenna Elfman) has grown into a beautiful woman and corporate executive. Both of the single clergymen are attracted to Anna and a complicated love-triangle develops. All this leads to lots of laughs, as well as heartaches, in this unique romantic comedy. KEEPING THE FAITH will particularly appeal to older teenagers and young adults, and fans of the stars will probably boost the box office showing.

The portrayal of two young clergymen having major moral weaknesses could be rather demeaning, but Rabbi Jake and Father Brian also have their commendable traits. Both men have a strong commitment to their faith, as well as a caring bond for each other. Unfortunately, Jake becomes involved in a pre-marital sexual affair with Anna, which is portrayed as acceptable. Their love making sometimes becomes rather explicit, but avoids nudity. An unmarried couple in an office are also shown in some explicit, but comical, sexual activity. To his credit, Rabbi Jake asks the forgiveness of his congregation for dating Anna because she is not Jewish. Father Brian eventually falls for Annas charms and also considers an affair. Both the clergymen and Anna occasionally indulge in crude and profane language and Brian is shown once drinking to excess in a bar. While Jake and Brian stay true to their spiritual commitments, they seem to have little concern about the moral example set by becoming involved sexually with Anna. Sadly, the explicit pre-marital affair, offensive obscenities and profanities and suggestive sexual content spoil the moral quality of this amusing comedy.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Buena Vista (Touchstone/Disney), 500 S. Buena Vista Ave., Burbank, CA 91521

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: Several (8) times - Mild 5, moderate 3

Obscene Language: Several (9) times - S word 3, other 6

Profanity: Many (15) times - Regular 8 (JC 1, J 2, G 4, Gsake); Exclamatory 7 (OMG 5, OG 2)

Violence: Twice Moderate (girl kicks man in groin, man struck in face with fist)

Sex: Once (unmarried couple - no nudity); Implied few times (unmarried couples with brief near nudity)

Nudity: Near nudity twice (brief side view of woman in bra, woman in bra after blouse ripped off)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times - Moderate (Woman tries to seduce man, couple seen in suggestive sexual movements, man rips blouse off woman, kissing and dancing seductively, boy makes suggestive remark, suggestive humor)

Drugs: Few times Drunken behavior, men drink in bar

Other: Priest gets drunk, rabbi has pre-marital affair, slang remark about Catholic symbols, boy prays in church, comedy and lively singing in Jewish synagogue, rabbi makes meaningful remarks in sermon, committed priest and rabbi, rabbi asks forgiveness of congregation

Running Time: 129 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and adults

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