Stuart Saves His Family 1995 PG-13 CC

Amazon Instant Video

(94) IMDb 5.3/10

Stuart's "shame spiral" begins when his cable-access show, Daily Affirmation With Stuart Smalley, is abruptly canceled. Then Stuart's favorite aunt dies, sending him home to his co-dependent mother, alcoholic dad, pot-smoking brother and overeating sister. But there's a big heart beating underneath that loud cardigan sweater, and with the help of his best friend and Al-Anon sponsor (Laura San Giacomo), Stuart takes on the armies of denial that threaten his family and future.

Starring:
Al Franken, Laura San Giacomo
Runtime:
1 hour 38 minutes

Stuart Saves His Family

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Comedy
Director Harold Ramis
Starring Al Franken, Laura San Giacomo
Supporting actors Vincent D'Onofrio, Shirley Knight, Harris Yulin, Lesley Boone, John Link Graney, Marjorie Lovett, Walter Robles, Erik Cord, Denver Mattson, Grant Hoover, Cory Milano, Michelle Horn, Harris Laskawy, Tom Dugan, Camille Saviola, Bess Meyer, Julia Sweeney, Patrick Kerr
Studio Paramount
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

This movie is much more than a very funny comedy.
M. Rittman
Juxtaposed is his dysfunctional family who he tries patiently to love--and even change.
Stephen Scott
I think it is interesting that you either love this movie or think it is ridiculous.
Linda Church

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 14, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
The first time I saw this movie was when it was in theatrical release, (which lasted about a week). I was in a movie theater in Times Square with a friend, and there were only two other people in the audience. Al Frankin has referred to this movie as a "disaster" because it was pulled from theaters after not even reaching one million dollars. Note to Al: THIS MOVIE IS NOT A FALIURE!
Every detail of this film, from the opening montage to the marvelous acting, (these are TOP NOTCH actors in this film), to the hilarious comedy to the story to the music...everything is hysterical. I only wish they had chosen a different title. Stuart does not save his family, he can only try. The movie should have been called "Stuart Smalley."
I was so astounded by how wonderful this movie was, yet practically no one saw it and Al Frankin calls it a disaster. I honestly, truely, unexagerratedly believe that this movie should have been up for several Oscars, including Best Director and for the supporting cast. The actor who plays the father was especially wonderful. I only hope that more people discover this movie.
When the movie was over in the theater, (I have since seen it again on video several times), the two other people in the audience came up the aisle and also expressed how good the movie was. I wish I could have direct addresses for director Harold Ramis and Al Frankin so that I could write to them and tell them how proud they should be of this movie.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Mike Leone on March 15, 2002
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Sadly, a lot of folks have never heard of this little gem. It had a very short theatrical release but has been gaining a wider audience, largely among members of 12-step programs, through its various video releases.
To describe the story line of this very funny movie would be to sell it short, because the premise doesn't sound like it would lend itself to such a delightful comedy. But the film grabs one's attention from the very beginning with its montage of 50s and 60s family photographs during the opening credits. Are these possibly family photos of the lead actors at an earlier stage of life? When Vincent d'Onofrio's name is on the screen, the guy in the photo looks an awful lot like him. And then we're off and running, with Stuart telling us on his television show that he has just received a sweater that one Melissa D. knitted for him. Melissa is a recovering sex addict and knitting the sweater "gave her something to do with her hands."
From that point on, the pace only rarely slackens, as we are introduced to Stuart's various friends and nemeses, beginning with Roz Weinstock, very possibly the meanest and most sadistic boss since Captain Bligh, and deliciously played by Camille Saviola. Roz has fired Stuart for maligning her on the air, and she is only the first of a series of people Stuart manages to annoy as he lives out his affirmation of "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and, doggone it, people like me." Perhaps not everyone likes him, certainly not the customer in the restaurant (an unbilled role, possibly director Harold Ramis?) who has to wait while Stuart explains his latest predicament to his best friend and Al-Anon sponsor Julia, wonderfully played by Laura San Giacomo.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Marie Gasau on March 13, 2000
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Al Franken scores with "Stuart Saves His Family". Expanding on his SNL character, Franken paints Stuart's wildly dysfunctional family with broad, knowing brushstrokes. Humor and honesty take the audience inside the world of 12-step recovery. I'm buying second and third copies of the movie to use in counseling with families. "Denial isn't just a river in Egypt!" This movie slyly slices through the excuses and gently reveals the healing hearts of folks with the courage to take that first "step". Thanks, Al--this unpretentious gem of a movie not only entertains but shares hope.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Pat McCurry on September 6, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Stuart Saves His Family is not your typical SNL movie. It's not packed with laugh-a-minute jokes or high strung humor. It's more of a drama where Stuart tries to save the people he loves the least: members of his family. In the skits, he is irratating and annoying. But in this movie, the viewer will respect him more as a sensitive human being who needs a friend like anyone else. And we find out that he has friends that you can't just find in any old 12 step program. They are loyal and understand him. Especially Julia. She doesn't pre-judge him. Everything Stuart goes through, she goes through it with him. Everyone deserves a soulmate like that. You also feel for what Stuart is being put through by his family. Stuart is human (with some minor considerations) just like the rest of us. This movie helped me get through the rough times I had in my family. It is also probably the first SNL movie with an ending that can bring one to tears. It's okay though. The mark of a good movie is in the the ending. Stick around during the credits to listen to the music. There is a song on there called "What Makes A Family". It's quite good.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By C. Shook on December 8, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I thoroughly enjoyed this spoof of the recovery movement, especially because it blended the serious aspects of addiction and dysfunctional families with the often morbid humor that is also within these topics. As a social worker who has worked with many who have "walked the walk", I have tremendous respect for them but also know that humor is one of the key ways they chose to cope with their situation. Al Franken does a wonderful job of reminding us that, indeed, you can't just "talk the talk", you do have to put your money where your mouth is and eventually step out of the cliches and twelve step mumbo jumbo and just be who you are. Very appropriate for most ages, this is actually important viewing for children or adolescents who might be growing up in an alcoholic home. Thanks, Al Franken.
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