Following the life of Stuart Long, a wannabe boxer turned priest who inspired many people on his journey from self destruction to redemption and becoming Father Stu.
I had never heard of the story in which this film was based on, so for that reason I went in rather blind to the fact that it was based on a true story and that meant the film totally went in a different direction to what I was expecting from the opening scenes and moments.
Stuart was the type of man that never really grew up and bounced from one dream to the next, when the risk of death if he continued to box he decided that his next venture would be to LA and becoming an actor. When trying to make this happen he also worked in a grocery store on the meat department. Seeing Carmen for the first time in the store was about to change everything not only about his life but about himself.
Carmen was extremely religious and to get closer to her and knowing her meant that he had to start attending the church and really getting in touch with religion. This was something that he never actually did before now and he actually finds himself getting even more into it than anyone could have ever imagined. The relationship he had with his father was somewhat strained and Bill Long was not an easy man to get along with. His mother Kathleen only ever saw the good in her son and wanted to support him.
Deciding to be a Priest was not going to be that easy given his criminal record and shady past, but when actually appealing the decision for him not to be allowed to train as a Priest he shows the commitment and battle they want. Although this path meant he could not marry Carmen, which was his main reason for attending church to begin with.
I was not expecting the illness twist in the story and was a little bit shocked by that, I mean yes I know if I had any background knowledge on the story I would have known all of that. Certainly not the film I was expecting. The thing is though everything felt rather weak and halfhearted. The parts I enjoyed were actually more in the final act with some amusing moments between Mark Wahlberg and Mel Gibson, other than that it was all unfortunately rather flat.