We watched Father Stu last night. It stars Mark Wahlberg as Stuart Long, a boxer turned criminal turned priest. It follows Stu through his life struggles and his realization that God has called him to become a Man of God at the opposition of other people, including his parents and his then girlfriend who introduced him to the faith to begin with.
I thought the story was an interesting one — Stu isn’t the typical person you’d think of when you think of Catholic priests. He lived life rough to say the least and he didn’t garnish his words even as he transitioned into becoming a priest. He spoke as a man who lived life before becoming who he was and therefore seemed more relatable. My favorite part was when he and another priest in training went to a prison to preach to the inmates and he cussed at them and talked to them at their level. It was interesting, to say the least.
While this was based on a true story and an inspirational one, at that, I thought the movie was a little clunky. At times, it felt like there were several different movies happening within one and very little connectivity between everything. Some parts could have been cut short or reworked a different way make it all cohesive and engaging. Even Mel Gibson made an appearance in this movie and it felt out of place to have him in there.
If you’re a devout Christian, you’ll find it worthwhile regardless of how the movie was made. Otherwise, the story could have been done better in order to tell the inspirational story of a real man. I’d give this movie 2-3 stars.