I went to the movies last night not really knowing anything about this particular film and, honestly, did not expect much but needless to say I left a big fan of ‘Father Stu.’ What a touching and moving film this is, with a great message for everyone.
I was very impressed with Mark Wahlberg’s performance as Stuart ‘Stu’ Long, a man who struggles through the loss of a younger brother, having bitter, divorced parents with no real relationship with his father – he calls his dad by his first name – and no real clue of what he wants to do with his life. When introduced to Stu, he is a boxer but one that has taken too many hits to the head as his doctor tells him another round could kill him. He then decides he is going to move to the West Coast to try and make it as an actor. As he tries to get his break, he encounters a young woman who catches his eye and tries to develop a relationship with her. In order to do so, he has to join the Catholic Church, per her request. This is a far stretch for Stu as his family is not religious at all.
During his journey of going to church, getting baptized and building his relationship with Carmen, he goes to a bar one evening, has too many drinks, and wrecks on his motorcycle. His injuries are life threatening and upon recovery, Stu recalls seeing Mary over him, weeping and telling him it is not his time. This convinces Stu his calling is to join the church. It is very interesting watching him go down this path, only for him to encounter another life altering moment, which I will not give away or spoil. But it changes him immensely, and impacts not just him but his parents, friends and fellow priests.
All the acting is top notch, including that of Jacki Weaver, who plays Stu’s mom Kathleen, and Mel Gibson, who plays the dad Bill. The soundtrack and score for this film is also amazing and fits each scene perfectly. Very good film and one I highly recommend.