Father Stu is a compelling and inspiring faith-based biopic about a boxer turned priest. Check out all the details in my parents guide movie review.
Father Stu released into theaters this week on April 13th. The faith-based film was produced by and stars Mark Wahlberg, who plays boxer turned priest Stuart Long. While this story is an inspirational one that is a bit messy in its telling, the story itself is a compelling tale that will touch the heart. Check out the details in my parents guide movie review.
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Father Stu Parents Guide
Father Stu: When an injury ends his amateur boxing career, Stuart Long moves to Los Angeles to find money and fame. While scraping by as a supermarket clerk, he meets Carmen, a Sunday school teacher who seems immune to his bad-boy charm. Determined to win her over, the longtime agnostic starts going to church to impress her. However, a motorcycle accident leaves him wondering if he can use his second chance to help others, leading to the surprising realization that he’s meant to be a Catholic priest.
Father Stu Age Appropriate Parents Guide
Let’s take a look at what parents need to know before letting their kids watch Father Stu.
Language: Father Stu contains strong language, with profanity used throughout. Lookout words include: f*ck, sh*t, b*tch, a**h*le, d*ck, d*mn, g-d d*mn, retards and the use of the n-word.
Mature Content: The film revolves around a boxer turned priest, so there are many scenes that include his boxing days, where he was beaten up and bloody. There is also a scene where a character is in an accident and banged up in a hospital bed. Characters discuss sex, porn, and use sexual references. There are also scenes shown where characters consume alcohol, get drunk, and drive.
The biggest flaw in Father Stu is its attempt to do too much and be too much in this faith-based biopic. Is it a drama? Is it a comedy? Is it a story of finding one’s faith? Is it about a father-son relationship? The film touches on all these points while never truly nailing down the central storyline and becomes bogged down in subplots.
Mark Wahlberg stars as Stuart Long in Father Stu and teams back up with his Daddy’s Home 2 co-star Mel Gibson, who plays Stuart’s father, Bill Long. In their performances in the film, both Wahlberg and Gibson do a solid job. Wahlberg delivers an unpolished and gruff portrayal of Stuart, which is exactly what is needed to make his depiction authentic and believable. He even went as far as gaining over 30 pounds for the later years of Stuart’s life bound to a wheelchair, which are some of the most vulnerable and heart-breaking scenes, and Wahlberg goes in 110%.
It is understandable that for a biopic, Father Stu filmmakers found it important to include all facets of Stuart Long’s life, which is why they chose to pack in so many details that may diverge from the main plot. However, the tone of the film changes back and forth from drama to comedy and back to drama far too much. At times, this comedy is appreciated, especially in the first half of the film, which tends to drag, risking the loss of attention by viewers. By the time the film reaches the last half, which is the crux of the film, it rushes through events so quickly that it really does a disservice to the story of Father Stu.
In spite of all of this, I still enjoyed watching Father Stu, if not only for the acting but also for the story itself. As someone who was raised in the Catholic Church and attended Catholic school through high school, the inspirational and unconventional tale of Stuart Long is much appreciated. While the film is messy throughout, all is forgotten when it reaches its final moments, which will not only break your heart, but also inspire all to be the best version of themselves.