About:

Title: Sister Act
Released: 1992

Fix: Singing Nuns, Men-Free Existence, An Actually Unproblematic ’90s Film
Platform: Disney+

Disney+ Summary:

Whoopi Goldberg stars as a sassy lounge singer forced to hide from the mob in the last place anyone would ever look for her — a convent. But when her revamped choir group earns rave reviews, her sudden celebrity jeopardizes her hidden identity.

FYA Summary:

This is just an elaborate premise to get to “What if Whoopi, but a nun?”, achieved by placing a vivacious Black lounge singer in a stodgy white convent.

Familiar Faces:

Whoopi Goldberg as Deloris/Sister Mary Clarence

Given the current phase of her career, it’s easy to forget that Whoopi is a mothercussin’, EGOT-winning STAR. Just look at the power of this movie poster: WHOOPI. She had such a run in the ’90s, and there really aren’t comedic star vehicles like this for women anymore,* especially Black women.

* Melissa McCarthy comes closest, but she’s also produced some of hers.

Maggie Smith as Reverend Mother

Is there anybody better at serving disappointed elder than Dame Maggie Smith? This photo alone is like the textbook definition of JUDGING YOU. 

Kathy Najimy as Sister Mary Patrick

She’s been in everything and everywhere, with notable roles like Mary in Hocus Pocus and the deliberately infuriating Peggy in King of the Hill.

Harvey Keitel as Vince

I feel like his name is in the zeitgeist a lot (or was back in the day) for someone whose filmography I could not list. Until now, anyway, because this will be the only movie that matters henceforth.

Bill Nunn as Lieutenant Souther

He’s the editor at the Daily Bugle! In the first set of Spider-Man movies, anyway.

Jim Beaver as Clarkson

I didn’t even notice that Bobby from Supernatural was in this until I was looking at the credits.

Jenifer Lewis as Michelle

Jenifer Lewis, however, I OBVIOUSLY NOTICED. She only appears for a criminally short time, though.

(Virtual) Couch-Sharing Capability: High

This movie is a crowd-pleasing DELIGHT. You’ve got laughs, you’ve got music… and also a bit of murder, plus a few references to sex. Nothing that should be traumatizing to impressionable minds, but I’m just an internet rando who assumes no responsibility if proven otherwise! (I also like how Disney+ classifies it under family, comedy, music, and crime. Imagine watching Sister Act for a crime fix, LOL.)

Recommended Level of Inebriation: Low, But Pop Some Champers Because Deloris Can’t

This movie is still legitimately good and not just for its time, so at least you won’t need alcohol because of cringey ’90s “humour”.

(The only thing that’s kind of iffy is how the Reverend Mother takes one look at Deloris and declares that she’s “a conspicuous person designed to stick out”, which is only based on… what, exactly? Her loud clothing and big hair can be changed, but the Reverend Mother seemed qwhite adamant that Deloris sticks out, not just at the convent but in general, without even exchanging a single word with her.)

Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Excellent

I was a little too young when this first came out, and I’ve just never gotten around to watching it until now. To my utter relief, it holds up incredibly well, and I’m actually kind of fascinated that it even exists. The cast features predominately Women Of A Certain Age, covered head-to-toe and devoid of glamour, and the movie passes the Bechdel test easily and frequently. (GASP, women not being sexualized?! And having full identities without men?!??! MIRACULOUS.) Whether you’re filling a pop culture gap or rewatching with fresh eyes, Sister Act will have you singing its praises. 

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Mandy (she/her) lives in Edmonton, AB. When she’s not raiding the library for YA books, she enjoys eating ice cream (esp. in cold weather), learning fancy pole dance tricks, and stanning BTS. Mandy has been writing for FYA since 2012, and she’s been overseeing all things FYA Book Club since 2013.