Did you guys have a film that you watched over and over again as a child? I had a couple. The Lion King (1994) was one, as was Mrs Doubtfire (1993). Most notably, I had a really strange obsession with Sister Act (1992) when I was around 6 or 7. I used to watch it over and over again and I could almost recite the whole thing. I recently re-watched it, and looking back, it probably wasn’t an appropriate film for someone so young to watch. Deloris Van Cartier (Whoopi Goldberg) is the mistress of an organised crime boss (Harvey Keitel), and witnesses him commit a murder. She must go into the witness protection program in order to hide after giving evidence to the police. It turns out that she must live life as a nun whilst in protective custody, and initially has a pretty tough time of it until she carves a niche for herself at the convent.
This one seems like a bit of a random film to review, but upon re-watching it, I realised that even though I loved the film as a child, it stands up fairly well when watching it as an adult. I get slightly frustrated by comedic films when they sacrifice plot development to make jokes, but I didn’t feel that way with this one. The jokes are pretty solid for a comedy from the 90s, and mesh well rather than lagging the plot. It’s a bit heavy on the Catholic in-jokes but I’m not sure what else one would expect for a comedy film about nuns. The direction and shotmaking is alright, but nothing to write home about.
I quite like Whoopi Goldberg because she’s one of those actresses that really commits to her performance in films. She’s great in Ghost (1990) and The Colour Purple (1985), and provides a convincingly filthy performance of a certain classic joke in The Aristocrats (2005). But what really stands out in this film is its musical numbers, beginning with a lively medley of classics at the beginning and escalating into catchy mashups of contemporary music with religious themes. The song at the end is also quite good, but my favourite is this one:
It’s always dicey to revisit films that you loved as a child. When watching Sister Act as an adult and reflecting on it, I’m not too sure where my obsession with it came from, because I was definitely a massive atheist even as a child. I remember loving the music, and I still do now. Overall, it’s a solid comedy film that may have aged a little bit, but is still quite enjoyable. Would you be brave enough to revisit a beloved childhood film knowing that doing so might ruin your memories of it? I did, and it didn’t turn out that badly.
Watch the trailer here.