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Keeping the Faith

Keeping The Faith (2000) is a romantic comedy about three childhood friends and the complications that happen when romance and religious expectations conflict. Best friends Brian Finn (a Catholic priest) and Jake Schram (a Jewish rabbi) are reintroduced to their childhood friend Anna Reilly when she comes to New York for work. Both men fall for Anna, but are prevented from being with her because of the restrictions placed upon them by religious expectations: Brian is expected to maintain a life of celibacy, and Jake is expected to marry a Jewish woman. Despite this, Jake and Anna start a romantic relationship that they keep secret from Brian. Eventually, a heartbroken Anna turns to Brian when Jake refuses to take their relationship seriously because she isn’t Jewish. In this scene, a drunk and angry Brian confronts Jake at the temple, and both men reveal that they are in love with Anna.

discussion

What kind of event is Brian interrupting? How do we know?

Why is it confusing that Brian is in love with Anna? Why is it okay that Jake can date Anna but Brian can’t?

What are some other religious rules that are present in this scene?

Is this a realistic or accurate representation of Judaism and/or Catholicism? Why or why not?