176. Sister Act

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Movie: Sister Act

Release Date: May 29, 1992

Director: Emile Ardolino

Starring: Whoopi Goldberg, Maggie Smith, Harvey Keitel, Bill Nunn, Mary Wickes, Kathy Najimy.

Tag Lines: “No sex. No booze. No men. No way.”

Relevance: I was a huge fan of Whoopi Goldberg as soon as I saw her HBO special “Whoopi Goldberg: Direct from Broadway” in 1985. I remained a fan throughout the 1980’s. In fact, I have remained a fan throughout my entire life. So when ‘Sister Act’ was released in theaters it was a no brainer that I was one of the first in line.

‘Sister Act” was plain and simply put, a very funny movie. It was silly, crowd-pleasing and its star was at the top of her game. I absolutely adored watching every second of it in the theater and had a smile on my face from beginning to end. Being raised strict Catholic and a member of many choirs and folk groups throughout my childhood and early adulthood, the premise was very relatable. It just added to the joy I felt while I watched the shenanigans on the screen. And there were many shenanigans. There was enough hi-jinks, slapstick and jokes to keep even the stoic of humans entertained. The music in the film was an added bonus and when I wasn’t smiling or laughing from the shenanigans, I was tapping my foot along to those revamped hymns.

‘Sister Act’ was one of those films that as soon as I saw it, I called my mom. If there was ever a “mom” movie, this was it. I was more than correct. ‘Sister Act’ became one of her favorite movies of all time. She, like me, was a huge Whoopi fan before the movie was released, but afterwards, it was like Whoopi was one of the family. “I love Whoop!” frequented my mother’s lips. She bought the VHS tape and watched it over and over again. When it was on HBO, she watched it over and over again. Not only was the movie played non-stop, the soundtrack was also a favorite of hers. She loved the music just as much as the film. If you ever wanted to see my mom smile, all you had to do was mention the words ‘Sister Act.’

Like mother, like son, ‘Sister Act’ has remained one of my favorite movies. I have owned the VHS and DVD and am also a fan of the sequel and its subsequent musical. Although nothing compares to the original. It is so much, you can sing along to it and its star, Whoopi Goldberg, is absolutely heavenly.

Today’s Thoughts: “Bless us, oh Lord, for these Thy gifts which we are about to receive. And yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of no food, I will fear no hunger. We want you to give us this day, our daily bread. And to the republic for which it stands, and by the power invested in me, I pronounce us ready to eat. Amen.”

‘Sister Act’ is one of those movies that I have seen countless times and never, ever tire of it. If anything, it gets even funnier. It has been quoted, referenced , talked about and adulated throughout my entire life. Watching it today was like hanging with an old friend.

I absolutely love this movie. Who knew that in 2020 at the age of forty-nine I would still laugh at loud at a movie made and released in the early 1990’s. ‘Sister Act’ is that good. It never gets old and it never will. Whoopi Goldberg and the rest of the cast are flawless. Maggie Smith, Harvey Keitel and the hilarious Kathy Najimy are pure comic gold. I can’t even pick out a favorite quote or scene, because the entire movie is perfection. Ironically, the film received mediocre to fair reviews when it was released. This is one of a few instances where the critics that disliked the film are 100% wrong.

It is difficult to watch this movie and not think about my mom. Interestingly enough, her funeral services were this week even though she passed away in early April. You got to love a global pandemic, right? Her service was held in a Catholic church and there was an old nun (at least I think she was a nun) singing the hymns during it. Although the songs were chosen specifically for my mom, the singing was, well, less than stellar. As I was listening to her sing, I could hear my mom whispering, “She sounds like the nuns in ‘Sister Act’ before Whoopi got there.” That made me smile. And it made me smile again today when I watched the movie.

‘Sister Act’ will never get old for me. It will always make me smile. It will always make me laugh. And it will always make me think of my mom. For those reasons alone, it will always be a huge part of my life.

“This turns into a nun’s bar, I’m outta here.”

Awards: Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical (nomination), Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, Whoopi Goldberg (nomination).

Ways to Watch: YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Prime, Vudu, Disney+, Sling TV, DVD Availability.

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