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Stuart Saves His Family (1995)

tomatometer

25

Average Rating: 4.9/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 9

No consensus yet.

audience

50

liked it
Average Rating: 2.6/5
User Ratings: 3,156

My Rating

Movie Info

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

PG-13,

Comedy

Al Franken

Apr 17, 2001

Paramount Home Video

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All Critics (26) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (7) | Rotten (19) | DVD (4)

It isn't good enough, it isn't smart enough, and, doggone it, most people won't like Stuart Saves His Family.

May 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

May 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Those familiar with Alcoholics Anonymous' 12-step recovery programme may bond in sympathy. The sentimentality, however, doesn't play.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

February 13, 2001 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

All in all, it's a misfire -- but a misfire that's more interesting than a lot of successes.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Often funny, darker than you'd expect, and firmly grounded in Franken's extensive experience of the 12-Step worldview.

May 14, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Played unsuccessfully for laughs, it is ploddingly directed. And proudly proclaimed as a Ramis film. After this he should change his name or profession.

May 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

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...

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: JoBlo's Movie Emporium
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

Not as bad as you'd expect

March 9, 2005
New Times

I forgive you, Al Franken. You were young and needed the money.

July 5, 2004

There can be no excuse.

January 8, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Though it misfires, this spoof of recovery programs should be noted for its sincerity.

July 26, 2002
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

Better than most SNL flotsam, but surely that's not saying much.

June 19, 2001 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Big mistake.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Director Harold Ramis and Franken, who wrote the script, do manage to give Stuart some dimension, however, and though he still seems like a skit (and shtick) character in places, he is also quite affecting.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Audience Reviews for Stuart Saves His Family

I liked the Stuart Skit on Saturday Night Live; it's a funny premise of self-help addiction. The movie wasn't too bad, but the characters got a bit annoying.
November 21, 2007
YosemiteSamFan

Super Reviewer

Wow . . . who woulda thunk it? Stuart Smalley is a memorable character from Al Franken's SNL days. I'm not sure I actually mean "memorable" in a good way here, but Smalley is not easliy forgotten. The SNL episode with Michael Jordan leaps to mind. Here's an impromptu scale for movies that deal with addiction: Ray Milland in Lost Weekend on the heavy end, Jeff Bridges in Big Lebowski on the light end. Franken manages to deal with the problem of addiction in a way that's tipped to the Milland end: very serious, almost too serious, for what would appear to be a comedy. Vincent D'Onofrio . . . may actually be the best job he's done. I'm no fan. Really, flixster friends, not a bad movie at all. Love the picture in front of the Hollywood sign.
February 5, 2007
binky013

Super Reviewer

I'm not a fantatic of the Stuart character. This film directed by Harold Ramis was hilarious!
I enjoyed watching the entire movie.
November 4, 2007
iLeo
Leo L

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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