Jake and Brian are friends. They are Jewish and Catholic respectively. They would grow up and become a rabbi and priest. Anna, whom they knew when they were younger, comes back to town a stunning woman. Jake is up to be the head of his synagogue but he is not married which doesn't make his appointment any easier. Jake finds himself attracted to Anna but because she's not Jewish, he can't marry her as it would make his appointment less likely. Brian also finds himself attracted to Anna, but the priesthood doesn't allow that. Their friendship is strained when each learns of the other's feelings for her.Written by
There have been so many romantic comedies produced that it is difficult for a film to break out due to the depth and breadth of the competition. This is one that does. This wonderfully funny romantic comedy takes a fresh approach, portraying a romance involving not one, but two men of the cloth. They are not even of the same cloth as one is a Catholic priest and the other a Jewish rabbi. The girl of their dreams is also the girl of their youth as the three were best friends in grammar school. Now, after many years of separation, Anna (Jenna Elfman) returns and both men fall immediately and madly in love with her.
The film is chock full of religious humor and sharp-witted dialogue that keeps you grinning between guffaws. The romance is syrupy sweet and the actors have such great chemistry that it is easy to believe they have been friends all their lives. Edward Norton produced, directed and starred in this gem and he shows himself to be adept at spinning a magical yarn with very few flaws. This was Norton's first directorial effort and it bodes well for his future on the other side of the lens. His work with the actors was marvelous, and his pacing of the film was excellent. The film flowed very pleasantly from scene to scene and kept the viewer amused and immersed.
The entire cast is terrific. Norton plays Father Brian Finn and is funny and affable in the role. Rabbi Jacob Schram is played by Ben Stiller, whose comedic star is on the rise. In this film, he outdoes his wonderful performance in `There's Something About Mary' with a character that is just as amusing but more complete, with greater range. Anne Bancroft is also fantastic as the rabbi's mother. She has the New York Jewish mother routine down pat, right down to the accent. A dynamite performance.
The real news in this film though, is Jenna Elfman. She lights up the screen with her enthusiasm and her charming girl-next-door beauty. She is dynamic, hilarious, sensitive, sexy and lovable and pretty much steals the show. After her terrific performance in `Edtv, she proves once again that she is a talented actor and comedian. One can only hope that the popularity of this film gives her access to more and better parts.
This fabulous romantic comedy is highly entertaining and enchanting. I rated it a 9/10. It is especially funny if you happen to be Catholic or Jewish. I highly recommend it.
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