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Keeping The Faith

I thought I had died and gone to heaven when I saw the casting for Keeping The Faith. Thank you lord all mighty. Shalom to all. Genius Thespian man Edward "Don't call me Eddie" Norton and that hirsute clever bantering little Ben Stiller in the same film... ad to this the female equivalent of Brad Pitt,-Jenna Elfman-whom would be my type if I went gay. Man was I ready to stampede the third row center seat.

However, like last years prequel to Star Wars, I was let down slowly but sorely.

See the films a tad Green Mile long. But why? Ben's cute little head tilts and Edward's smirking cutey boy smile began to wear thin as nature called (loudly ) for me inquiring about the extra large Starbuck's Iced Flavor de Jour I'd enjoyed earlier-if you know what I mean. At one point there's a break up between -let's just say the "lovers." Filmatically two weeks was to have had passed. Well, dear readers it felt like we were there for every minute of every second of the two weeks. I was fidgety- not good.

The story is clever. A light comedy about two close friends who grow up in two very different religions. One believes in Jesus and the Catholic version of faith. The other prefers to think of him as a nice Jewish carpenter who made people feel good about themselves, but not the son of God. One is Edwardthe other Stiller-'nough said as to who's whom?

As young boys they meet a Tatum O'neal in The Bad News Bears type girl, Anna Riley (Jenna Elfman). They all grow up and story begins. Catholic boy has become a priest, Jewish boy an Orthodox Rabbi. Young Anna a workaholic ready for a love connection...which one will it be? How to chose? Jesus, I ask you?

I wanted so hard to love this. I laughed a few times and felt for the characters. Apparently Norton doesn't want to be type cast and is (similar to his friend Kevin Spacey ) testing different diverse characters. He excelled as a white supremacist in American History X, rocked as a lunatic masochist in Fight Club, was pleasantly perfect as lizard scum boy in Rounders (which I actually liked-unlike most folks) and here Nortie handles comedy admirably. But, Ben Stiller ( a razor sharp comic) should have told his talented costar and director part of the art of comedy is editing. Knowing when the punch line is entered and the next scene begins. If he could have taken about 35-45 minutes out, I really think this would have been an exceptional romantic comedy. As it is now, it's winded and grows tiresome.

Why Edward? Why?

Snack Recommendation: Manishevitz wine and Communion wafers

Starring: Edward Norton. Ben Stiller, Jenna Elfman and Anne Bancroft.

Directed by: Edward Norton

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