Take this Father Stu Quiz to find out which character you are. We update the quiz regularly and it’s the most accurate among the other quizzes.
The film “Father Stu,” based on the true story of an unlikely journey from boxer to priest, was a labor of love for Mark Wahlberg and Mel Gibson, both devout Catholics. And the issue with a passion project is that the part of the story they want to tell is not always the message they want to deliver.
The true Father Stu started out as Stu Long, the son of an abusive, mostly absent father (Mel Gibson as Bill) and a well-meaning but ineffective mother (Jacki Weaver as Kathleen). We see Stu as a child, trying to get his father’s approval by imitating Elvis Presley. Then we cut to Stu, now played by Wahlberg, who is a boxer who’s career has resulted in more injuries than trophies and more trophies than money. When it becomes clear that Stu cannot fight any longer, he redirects his single-minded dedication to an even more unlikely goal—he decides to go to Hollywood and become a movie star. There he meets Carmen (Teresa Ruiz), a beautiful girl who is very involved with the Catholic Church. He pretends to be interested in getting close to her at first, but after a serious motorcycle accident, he realizes he is called to the priesthood. Also, you must try to play this Father Stu Quiz.
Father Stu Quiz
In the film, Stu, who is studying but not yet ordained, visits a prison as part of his training, along with a fellow seminarian who is only in the film for contrast. While Stu is impulsive, confident, blunt, but open-hearted, the other seminarian is studious, sober, and condescending toward Stu. It’s no surprise that Stu connects with the men in prison better than the student who is literally holier-than-thou. Unfortunately, the first scene, which shows how Father Stu connected with others by sharing his faith, takes a long time to arrive and ends abruptly. His interactions with the seminary’s rector, the crusty and skeptical Monsignor Kelly (Malcolm McDowell), are also unsatisfying because we never see how their relationship changes after Stu convinces him to let him enroll.
It is more important than Father Stu is a priest than how he got there. But getting there is where the majority of the film’s time is spent. Even Wahlberg’s movie star charisma and irresistible smile can’t save the film in that scene. The difficulty in telling a life story in two hours is choosing the most important moments and removing those that distract from the theme. The real-life Stu faced many complications and challenges, but the script appears to be written around what Gibson and Wahlberg would enjoy playing. There is also a focus on the mortification of the flesh rather than what would advance the plot by illuminating Stu’s spiritual development.
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Other scenes clog the story’s progression and do not portray Stu’s values as favorably as the film believes. He is never held responsible for hurting Carmen after she believes they are going to marry. Another seminarian admits to Father Stu that he does not feel called to the priesthood, but the conversation is presented as more of a win for Stu than a way for Stu to provide some guidance to the person asking for help. We also get some welcome glimpses of the real Stu during the credits, as well as a less welcome extra scene with Wahlberg that reminds us of Stu’s goofy adventures prior to getting the call.
“Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet,” St. Augustine famously said. That appears to be Wahlberg’s (who financed the film himself after failing to find a studio) and Gibson’s approach (whose romantic partner, Rosalind Ross, wrote and directed, probably the reason he was allowed to overact throughout). As is often the case with people who adhere to highly structured religious beliefs, Gibson and Wahlberg are more interested in the “not yet” sinning parts of the story, which are acted with a heightened relish that is not balanced by its scenes of redemption. This undermines the message they are attempting to convey. Father Stu knew how to reach out to skeptics and non-believers. Wahlberg and Gibson preach to the choir rather than a wider audience.