Keeping the Faith

Director:Edward Norton
Writer:Stuart Blumberg
Touchstone Pictures; PG-13; 129 minutes
Cast:Ben Stiller, Edward Norton, Jenna Elfman

Keeping the Faith's success depends on how one looks at it. From one side, it is extremely difficult to encounter an intelligent, funny, and mature romantic comedy, and this film is exactly that. From another side, Edward Norton's career has included several highly respectable, provocative films (American History X, Fight Club), and one might have expected something more challenging from his directorial debut.

The premise involves three childhood friends. Reunited in New York, one is a priest (Norton), one a rabbi (Ben Stiller), and the third has become a beautiful power broker who now is the object of both the clergymen's affections. A lot of jokes stem from Stiller and Norton's clashing with their respective congregations due to their hipster approach to all things holy. Encounters with ridiculously diverse inhabitants of New York City form the rest of the humorous material.