Keeping the Faith


Keeping the Faith (2000)


Critic Consensus: A dramedy featuring an unusual love triangle, Keeping the Faith is a perceptive look at how religion affects us in everyday life.


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Movie Info

Actor Edward Norton debuts as a director with this comedy-drama about love, friendship, and faith. Priest Brian Finn (Norton) and rabbi Jacob Schram (Ben Stiller) have known each other since childhood. When Anna Reilly (Jenna Elfman), whom they both knew as children, returns to New York, both men find themselves infatuated with her, sparking both rivalry and personal dilemmas: Brian has taken a vow of celibacy, and Jacob is allowed to marry only within his faith. Award-winning director Milos Forman appears in the supporting cast, alongside Anne Bancroft, Ron Rifkin, and Eli Wallach; the screenplay marks the debut of writer Stuart Blumberg, whom Norton met when they were both undergraduates at Yale. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Ben Stiller
as Rabbi Jake Schram
Edward Norton
as Father Brian Finn
Jenna Elfman
as Anna Riley
Anne Bancroft
as Ruth Schram
Eli Wallach
as Rabbi Lewis
Ron Rifkin
as Larry Friedman
Milos Forman
as Father Havel
Holland Taylor
as Bonnie Rose
Lisa Edelstein
as Ali Decker
Rena Sofer
as Rachel Rose
Brian George
as Bartender
Susie Essman
as Ellen Friedman
Sam Goldberg
as Jake (as a teen)
Blythe Auffarth
as Anna (as a teen)
Michael Charles Roman
as Brian (as a teen)
Jonathan Silver
as Alan Klein
Kelly Deadmon
as Woman in Bar
Bodhi Elfman
as Casanova
Chris Gardner
as Basketball Kid No. 1
Santi Formosa
as Basketball Kid No. 2
Francine Beers
as Greta Mussbaum
Ellen Hauptman
as Roz Lentz
Liz Larsen
as Leslie
David Wain
as Steve Posner
Donna Hanover
as Woman No. 1 at Confessional
Wai Ching Ho
as Woman No. 2 at Confessional
Marilyn Cooper
as `Don't Walk' Lady
Howard W. Koch Jr.
as Rabbinical Professor
Keith Perry
as Old Man Hit with Censor
Derrick Eason
as Co-Worker
Barbara Haas
as Mother in Synagogue Reception Room
Dana Lubotsky
as Daughter
Tony Rossi
as Hot Dog Vendor
John P. Duffell
as Father Duffell
Keith Williams
as AIDS Patient
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News & Interviews for Keeping the Faith

Critic Reviews for Keeping the Faith

All Critics (115) | Top Critics (26)

A romantic triangle dating movie as confected, and nearly as wholesome, as a '50s Universal bedroom farce, but lacking the confidence and zest.

Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

The ending gets a little too cute, and isn't true to Anna's independent nature. Oh well, to forgive is divine.

Jul 21, 2005

An astute directorial debut for actor Edward Norton.

Aug 15, 2002 | Full Review…

It's as soft and squishy as anything by Nora Ephron or pre-caustic Woody Allen.

Mar 22, 2002 | Rating: 2.5/4

Keeping the Faith is a profoundly secular movie.

Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4

A pleasant surprise.

Jan 1, 2000
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Keeping the Faith


Ed Norton directs (say what!!!) this comedy built around, of all things, the opening of a joke ("Priest and a rabbi walk into a bar ..."). This effort is spiked with loads of cultural references and pithy one-liners, has enough charisma to win a war, so it is in its unbelievable premise finally that it falters.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

"If you have to believe in something, you might as well believe in love." A story about two friends, a priest and a rabbi, who fall in love with the same beauty (Jenna Elfman)

Norton and Stiller are clergy (a priest and a rabbi, sounds like the start of a joke), Elfman is their friend who is secretly dating Stiller and who is secretly loved by Norton. What I think is most exceptional about this movie is the way it portrays these clergy as cool guys - I mean, there's really cool clergy just like there's really cool fireman and loggers and truck drivers. And it does so in a way that doesn't entirely compromise their faith, although some of the stuff Norton says or does is not quite right (and for the moment I'm not talking about his attraction to Elfman). I am also a huge Elfman fan, I think she's beautiful as well as extremely effective in her roles. Seeing this film made me wonder if Ben would be better served by serious roles more often, he's very effective and avoids the silliness and gross humor that can sometimes sabotage his comic performances. Nice supporting work by Bancroft and the always appreciated Wallach. Recommended for light entertainment.

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Lorenzo von Matterhorn

Super Reviewer


I swear I have reviewed this before, Flixter must be deleting my old ones. This movie is a little too long but I enjoy it thoroughly, good messages.

Lenny Muggsy
Lenny Muggsy

Super Reviewer


This is a funny, romantic and very smart romantic comedy Edward Norton ever made in his debut directional. The three leads are charming and believable, the supporting cast is outstanding and the script is insightful and fresh. Norton is consistently one of the best actors working and here takes a role like no other he's played before, and Jenna Elfman is a real revelation: she's never been this beautiful, confident and intelligent before. She makes it very easy to see why both a priest and a rabbi would fall head over heels in love with her.

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

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