Stuart Saves His Family (1995)
Average Rating: 4.6/10
Reviews Counted: 26
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 19
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 4.9/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 9
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 2.6/5
User Ratings: 3,146
Al Franken brings his Saturday Night Live character Stuart Smalley to the big screen in this unexpectedly downbeat comedy about a man desperately trying to overcome his dysfunctional upbringing. Stuart hosts a TV show on public access TV in which he offers bits of New Age wisdom on self-help, often incorporating his trademark affirmation, "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!" Too bad Stuart's advice doesn't work so well for himself; he barely supports himself as a
Apr 12, 1995 Wide
Apr 17, 2001
Paramount Home Video
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It isn't good enough, it isn't smart enough, and, doggone it, most people won't like Stuart Saves His Family.
Even if you find Franken hard to bear, as I do, the movie's take on how he functions in the world is both authoritative and compelling, and the movie steadily grows in stature.
Those familiar with Alcoholics Anonymous' 12-step recovery programme may bond in sympathy. The sentimentality, however, doesn't play.
The plotting is surprisingly banal, involving even talk of a property easement and turning Stuart into the executor of a relative's estate. And the relatives' problems are taken semi-seriously, which is more than this lightweight film can handle.
It was much funnier when we didn't see Stuart's family. And, if we have to see them, it would have been much funnier if they were strait-laced '50s sitcom types.
All in all, it's a misfire -- but a misfire that's more interesting than a lot of successes.
Often funny, darker than you'd expect, and firmly grounded in Franken's extensive experience of the 12-Step worldview.
Played unsuccessfully for laughs, it is ploddingly directed. And proudly proclaimed as a Ramis film. After this he should change his name or profession.
I prepared myself for yet another "one joke" Saturday Night Live movie here, but what I got was an enjoyable little film that actually touched upon some interesting issues...
Not as bad as you'd expect
I forgive you, Al Franken. You were young and needed the money.
There can be no excuse.
Though it misfires, this spoof of recovery programs should be noted for its sincerity.
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