Sister Act

(Emile Ardolino, USA, 1992)


Although the graphic on the video cover makes a neat joke about Whoopi Goldberg being the only black dude in an all-whitebread world, Sister Act is surprisingly silent on this obvious issue of race.

For here is a perfectly breezy and formulaic Touchstone comedy, an effortless soufflé cooked up from a few laughs, thrills, songs and feel-good sentiments. Unsurprisingly, this hit generated a sequel (directed by the talented Bill Duke) the following year.

Whoopi plays a nightclub singer on the run from a crime lord (Harvey Keitel) and his henchmen. She escapes into a convent, and is soon in charge of a swinging choir.

There are good jokes about pop tunes converted into hymns – "My Guy" becomes "My God" – and a decent orchestration of secondary characters and their cute tics, courtesy of director Emile Ardolino (Chances Are, 1989).

© Adrian Martin September 1993

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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