Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (27)
| Top Critics (12)
| Fresh (8)
| Rotten (19)
| DVD (1)
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.
Wisely, "Stuart Saves His Family" attempts something tougher than the usual "SNL" movie, painting a fully fleshed-out portrait of seriocomic misery. In a subgenre littered with films worth forgetting, here is one that's good enough and smart enough.
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.
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.
I'm not a fantatic of the Stuart character. This film directed by Harold Ramis was hilarious!
I enjoyed watching the entire movie.
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.
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