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Stuart Saves His Family (1995)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 12 April 1995 (USA)
A self-help advocate struggles to put his dysfunctional family in its place.


Harold Ramis


Al Franken (screenplay), Al Franken (book)
2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Franken ... Stuart Smalley
Laura San Giacomo ... Julia
Vincent D'Onofrio ... Donnie
Shirley Knight ... Mom
Harris Yulin ... Dad
Lesley Boone ... Jodie
John Graney ... Kyle (as John Link Graney)
Marjorie Lovett ... Aunt Paula
Walter Robles ... Smalley Uncle (as Walt Robles)
Erik Cord Erik Cord ... Smalley Uncle
Denver Mattson ... Smalley Uncle
Grant Hoover Grant Hoover ... Young Stuart
Cory Milano Cory Milano ... Young Donnie
Michelle Horn ... Young Jodie
Harris Laskawy Harris Laskawy ... Mr. Dimmit


Stuart Smalley, the Saturday Night Live character, comes to the big screen. Stuart, the disciple of the 12 step program, is challenged by lifes injustices. He loses his Public Access Cable Television Show, must beg his manipulative overbearing boss for his job back, rehabilitate his alcoholic father and drug abuser brother, and support his over-weight mother and sister in their lack of ability in handling their relationships with their husbands. Stuart is supported by his 12 step sponsors as a he regresses back to his negative behaviors each time he faces these challenges. Written by Joel Schesser <joelsd@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You'll laugh because it's not your family. You'll cry because it is.


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language and substance abuse | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Julia Sweeney's character, Mea C, says "sorry" in this film 17 times. See more »


When Stuart gets his show on Health Cable Network, he goes to have twenty episodes shot. The time they give him to do this is four hours, which is impossible because all the shows are fifteen minutes. At least five hours would be needed, even if the cameras were never turned off. See more »


Stuart Smalley: Because what they say is true - it's easier to put on slippers than to carpet the whole world.
See more »


Silver Bells
Written by Jay Livingston & Ray Evans
Performed by Rachel Sweet
Produced by Marc Shaiman
See more »

User Reviews

Yet another failure from the `Saturday Night Live' stable
8 February 2002 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Stuart Smalley is a new-age self help guru with a line in catchphrases `I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and dog-gone it, people like me!'. When his show on public-access cable is cancelled he falls into a depression, however a family death brings him back to his home town where he finds that his family have enough issues to keep him busy for months.

Stuart Smalley was created by Al Franken for Saturday Night Live. In the UK we've never seen this so I can only imagine that Stuart is used to poke fun at self-help, therapy etc - and I imagine that in 3 minute sketches that he can be very good. However stretched out to 90 minutes it doesn't cut the mustard. The story allows for some funny moments - mainly the flashback scenes where Stuart recalls instances in his family life. However the majority of the film is given over to drama and sentiment as the family deal with their issue. This sentiment is poorly handled and doesn't sit well at all. Even if this was a normal film, which it isn't, it wouldn't work, however building this drama round a spoof character makes it even less workable.

I really wanted to like this but I'm afraid that it just wasn't very funny. From Saturday Night Live I expected much more laughs - even of the hit and miss style. However I chuckled 3 or 4 times and that was it. Franken plays Stuart like a mockery of himself and does manage to squeeze some jokes out of the material, but he can't make the character do drama at all. The rest of the cast are filled with plenty of well-known faces (Laura San Giacomo, D'Onofrio, Harris Yulin) and a great comedy director in Ramis, but none of them can really do much with the material.

As much as I wanted to like this, this is just yet another failed movie project to come from the occasionally successful Saturday Night life stable.

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Germany | USA



Release Date:

12 April 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Stuart Saves His Family See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$371,898, 16 April 1995

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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