I didn’t like Father Stu because it is a boring movie. While it may find its audience within the Catholic community, it won’t find it in most audiences.
Father Stu is the story of how a failed amateur boxer finds his way to the catholic faith. Stu is an alcoholic without any direction. He has big dreams and even bigger ambitions but has an attitude that constantly gets him into trouble. He moves to California to become a movie star, but instead, he finds his way to the Catholic Church. God has different plans for Stu, and after a terrible accident, Stu becomes determined to become a priest. Fate is cruel and his body begins to succumb to a debilitating illness that will one day leave him completely disabled. Will he be able to find strength in his newfound faith, or will the trials prove too difficult?
The only reason I am not madder at this movie is that the cast is fantastic. Mark Wahlberg carries this movie as Stu, but unfortunately, this movie isn’t good enough for him. The plot is rather generic, and the pacing is terrible. It seems like the movie races from trial to trial and rushes to close up all the plot points at the end. Nothing interesting happens despite it having so many subplots. Sure the movie might be mechanically inspiring, but its execution is anything but. This is just another faith movie, but this one has a decent budget and actors.
Father Stu is pro-Catholic propaganda. Stu has to sacrifice so much in his journey in order for him to be rewarded. His journey is used as a way of proving that God will test you constantly, but will reward you if you have faith. There is also enough preaching in between to make this message redundantly clear. The movie also goes out of its way to show its audience how accepting, caring, and helpful the Catholic church is. I was raised Catholic and understand that the church does good for its community, but this was over the top. The movie constantly shoves its righteousness in the audience’s face to the point where I have to question its legitimacy. There is enough controversy surrounding the Catholic church to suggest that it is not as virtuous as this movie so desperately says it to be. I want to be clear, I have nothing against the Catholic faith; this just wasn’t a good movie.
If you are Catholic, Father Stu is an inspiring story about a fallen man finding God. You should watch it. For everyone else, I would probably hold off. But if you are still curious, you can stream it on Netflix.
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