STUART SAVES HIS FAMILY, a comedy starring and written by Al Franken, is a hilarious portrayal of people in recovery and family dysfunctionality. This movie is never condemning nor condoning of the self-help movement; however, with plenty of laughs and good performances by the entire cast, this is a must-see movie for anyone who has even heard the word "dysfunctional."
The first funny recovery movie, STUART SAVES HIS FAMILY, is a hilarious yet honest parody of 12-step programs and family dysfunction. The film’s protagonist, Stuart Smalley (Al Franken) loses his recovery talk show just before he must return home for his aunt’s funeral. Laughs roll when Stuart gets caught in the middle of some very nasty family problems. As the title implies, Stuart at least partially succeeds in saving (or salvaging) his own dysfunctional family.
Al Franken puts a comic touch to recovery with snappy one-liners and startlingly familiar family situations. Casting, characterizations and acting are excellent, with Laura San Giacomo delivering her most refreshing role yet as Stuart’s recovery sponsor. STUART SAVES HIS FAMILY does for Twelve Step programs what EASY RIDER did for the 60’s revolution: it sets the standard for situations and lingo. All the major elements of family dysfunctionality are humorously portrayed, never condemning nor condoning of the movement. This movie is not about an agenda, it’s about fun and laughs at its characters with empathy. STUART SAVES HIS FAMILY “puts the fun back in dysfunctional.” It is much funnier than the TV commercials would have it seem; a must-see for recovery people, or for anyone who might suspect they have a dysfunctional family (some may argue that as a redundant term).
(NA, LL, V, A, D, M) Light New Age worldview espousing self-help philosophies; 9 obscenities, 7 profanities & 3 vulgarities; humorous accidental shooting & abridged fight scenes; and, alcoholism, drug use & overeating all as family member excesses.