Movie Write-Up: The Unauthorized Full House Story

I recently watched the 2015 Lifetime movie, The Unauthorized Full House Story, which was about the actors in the hit ABC sitcom Full House.  The movie went from the actors’ rise from obscurity and disappointments to Candace Cameron’s wedding to Russian hockey player Valeri Bure.

I liked how the movie depicted the actors as tight-knit, in good times and bad. Another interesting detail was how the actors shaped their characters.  Bob Saget had the idea of making Danny Tanner a neat freak, and John Stamos proposed that Uncle Jesse be an Elvis fan.

In terms of negatives, the movie tried to cover too much, so pieces were left unresolved.  For example, in the movie, Jodie Sweetin was upset because Candace was becoming close to Andrea Barner (who played Kimmy Gibler) and felt left out, but that was never revisited.  As this Rolling Stone article notes, the movie lacked notorious Full House catch-phrases, such as “Have mercy!” and “You got it, dude!”  (I think it did have “You’re in big trouble, mister!”)  The movie also had a lot of silliness.  Some of that was necessary to show that Bob Saget was raunchier than his TV dad character, but there was just too much of that.

The movie still had its share of serious scenes, though, and that enhanced the movie.  Bob Saget and Dave Coulier were coping with the deaths of their sisters.  And Bob Saget worked a lot on Full House and America’s Funniest Home Videos, and that cost him his marriage.

Like The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell movie, The Unauthorized Full House Story touched on religion.  In my favorite scene in the movie, Candace Cameron and John Stamos are talking.  Candace is upset because a magazine called her chubby, and John laments that the tabloids portray him as a big-time partier, leading his dad to think that he is immature.  Candace says that her brother, Kirk (Kirk Cameron from Growing Pains), tells her that things will be become clearer when she has a relationship with God.  John replies that it’s good for people to find ways to keep their head straight—-Kirk has religion, John has his music—-and Candace needs to find what works for her.

Many Christians may disagree with John’s characterization of religion as one of many ways to keep one’s head straight, saying it is much more than that.  They would have a point, and yet I agree that religion is a way to keep one’s head straight, and that religion is a personal decision.  I also appreciate that John did not denigrate Kirk Cameron.  And the scene struck me as an Uncle Jesse moment, as if Stamos were like Uncle Jesse even off-screen!

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. I study the History of Biblical Interpretation at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, as part of its Ph.D. program. I have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting.
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