Alan Arkin and Frank Langella turn in their customary excellent performances in this Catholic coming-of-age dramady about a young man who isn't sure whether he wants to be a priest or a husband, but the real movie grace is wielded by Amy Acker (Angel, Alias) as the love interest whose sweetness isn't a byproduct of weakness but a sign of inner strength, one who doesn't fuss because she knows exactly what she needs to do and makes the necessary sacrifices to do it. She is what Joss Whedon calls a strong woman character.
The supporting characters, a large number of them priests, do not descend into stereotype. They display strong sides and not so strong sides, but their shortcomings are explored with understanding and empathy. (Spoiler Alert) Orson Bean, whom we first meet as a cranky old problem priest, turns out to be a man of large and frustrated passion. Having spent 25 years in Africa serving the destitute, he is ordered back home as he approaches retirement age and assigned presumably less strenuous work -- work that he clearly despises. It's a fascinating portrait of a man whose Christianity is stymied by the humane and well-intended decisions of his bureaucracy, and his subsequent path of self-destruction manages to be appalling, hilarious and heartrending.
And Amy Acker transcends it all.