Father Stu (2022)

Directed by Rosalind Ross

Starring Mark Wahlberg, Mel Gibson, Jackie Weaver, Teresa Ruiz

I had mixed feelings in terms of wanting to see this movie, but in the end, once it got to Netflix I decided to see it. The one true reason for me is Mel Gibson, one of my favorite actors.

The follows the life of Stuart Long, he was a boxer than retires from that and wants to be an actor. He takes a job at a market where he meets Carmen, a catholic woman who he falls for. He enters the church to get near her and then after an accident that almost killed him, he feels the calling to be a priest.

The film has an inspiring story no doubt about that. I can’t say how much of the character behavior is factual, or if some traits were exaggerated for the film. It did feel like an honest film of flawed people looking for God and purpose as well as a tribute to Stuart. But that is not enough to make the movie great. I did not like Stuart as he was portrayed, I can’t say he was like that or just how he was written, but something about it just felt off. The second half of the film was better as that was the inspiring moment of the film.

I read a review and I have to agree that Mark was not the right actor because he just brings the same performance as other roles he has done before. A problem I have is that it feels like he is searching for Oscar roles and he overdoes it. Now Mel Gibson and Jackie Weaver shine as Long’s parents. Both hurt and against this new life their son is pursuing and yet they are both portrayed not necessarily as opposing forces.

The film is not bad, it has a few flaws in my opinion. But it is an inspiring story to see.

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