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Keeping the faith

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Father Brian Finn (Edward Norton) and Rabbi Jacob Schram (Ben Stiller) have been best friends since they were kids. Their friendship is put to the test when each falls for Anna Reilly (Jenna Elfman), a corporate executive and a childhood friend to both, who suddenly re-enters their lives. Neither man can pursue a lasting relationship with her due to their religious convictions: the priest is constrained by his vows and the Rabbi cannot marry her because she is a gentile.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Keeping the faith image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film romance comedy religion Christian Jew teen friends

Persons of interest

  • Ben Stiller .... Rabbi Jake Schram
  • Edward Norton .... Father Brian Finn
  • Jenna Elfman .... Anna Riley
  • Anne Bancroft .... Ruth Schram
  • Eli Wallach .... Rabbi Ben Lewis
  • Ron Rifkin .... Larry Friedman
  • Milos Forman .... Father Havel
  • Holland Taylor .... Bonnie Rose
  • Lisa Edelstein .... Ali Decker
  • Rena Sofer .... Rachel Rose
  • Ken Leung .... Don
  • Brian George .... Paulie Chopra
  • Catherine Lloyd Burns .... Debbie
  • Susie Essman .... Ellen Friedman
  • Stuart Blumberg .... Len
  • Sam Goldberg .... Teenage Jake Schram
  • Michael Charles Roman .... Teenage Brian Finn
  • Blythe Auffarth .... Teenage Anna Riley
  • Jonathan Randell Silver .... Alan Klein
  • Brian Anthony Wilson .... T-Bone
  • Juan Piedrahita .... Omar
  • Bodhi Elfman .... Howard the Casanova
  • Francine Beers .... Greta Nussbaum
  • Rena Blumberg .... Chaya
  • Ellen Hauptman .... Roz Lentz
  • Liz Larsen .... Leslie
  • Matt Winston .... Matt
  • Nelson Avidon .... Joel
  • David Wain .... Steve Posner
  • Stuart Blumberg .... Screenwriter
  • Edward Norton .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report


Keeping the faith is as much a romantic comedy as it is a drama, but it's as much a drama as it is a romantic comedy. That makes for some strange chopping and changing which makes it difficult for you to sit back and relax into the story. Perhaps another draft of the script would've helped, perhaps not.

Having a triangular relationship as the focus of the film has made the work harder for everyone. Each character needs to be given enough time on-screen to be rounded as does each relationship. Unfortunately, Keeping the faith is a little too well balanced, undermining some of the potential for conflict. It's as if the triangle is sitting on its base rather than one of the corners. Imagine an upside-down pyramid: you have to keep looking to see not only what's holding it up but whether or not it's going to fall down. That's the art of filmmaking.

Edward does an acceptable job of directing both the film and himself, although there's nothing particularly special about the end result. His performance is good, as you would expect, and he has some very real moments, such as the sex talk in central park: very natural, very honest and very down to earth. Ben is good, too, managing to be both babe and Rabbi at the same time. It happens. Not often, but it happens. And the Jewish mothers?! Oy! Jenna is sexily aggressive in a way that many guys will like; she's a go-getting, up-front babe you'll drool over. Hmmm... there's a lot of eye candy in this film!

Keeping the faith is better than most films produced in Hollywood but lacks the critical x-factor to boost it into the A-crowd - still, you'll enjoy it if you see it, that's guaranteed.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: Dolby Surround 5.1
  • Bonus material:
    • Cast and crew biographies
    • Commentary
    • Deleted scenes
    • Gag reel
    • Trailers: Theatrical
  • Languages: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles: Spanish, English captions

Security censorship classification

M (Sexual references, adult themes)

Surveillance time

128 minutes (2:08 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 22 August 2001
DVD retail: 24 April 2002
DVD retail: 18 April 2007 - Double pack

Cinema surveillance images

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