Monday, April 19, 2010

Kid Flicks: Sister Act (1992)

Every family has a movie (or movies) that, for one reason or another, takes the VCR/DVD Player hostage and receives more repeat viewings than it deserves. In our house, some of those movies were 3 Ninjas, D2: The Mighty Ducks, and The Meteor Man. These are just some of the movies I want to write about in my new series, Kid Flicks.

My mom has a love-hate relationship with Whoopi Goldberg. She loves anything she's ever done that wasn't R-rated. Mormonism = Cinematic schizophrenia. Because we were a PG-only family, I never saw Burglar or Girl, Interrupted but I did see Eddie, Bogus, and Theodore Rex.

Sister Act is the one we watched most of all. Our VHS tape literally broke due to overuse. I can't tell you how many times seen Sister Act. There was a point in my life where I knew all of the words to all off the songs. Hell, I knew all of the words, period. My family loved this movie. And don't think our love stopped at the sequel. Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit not only entertained us for hours on end but it also introduced me Lauryn Hill who I had a bit of a crush on throughout the mid-to-late 90s.

Looking back at this beloved childhood classic, there's one scene I feel needs some discussion. For those who haven't seen it, the movie follows a lounge singer named Doloris Van Cartier who witnesses a murder and goes into witness protection with a convent. When she gets there, the nuns have trouble conforming her to their conservative lifestyle. But before we go too far, can we go back to the murder?

An off-screen gunshot to the (head? chest?) was quite a scarring occurrence for single-digit age kids such as myself. Now, death in movies was nothing new to me (The Brave Little Toaster, anyone?) but this might have been my first assassination.

The rest of the movie is fun nun-themed hijinks. Lots of singing, a "Mashed Potato" dance scene, and some slight digs at modern-day religion. I loved it then, I like it now. Sort of like Lauryn Hill.

Most Memorable Sister Act Images
1. The assassination, of course.
2. "Hey Alma, check your battery."
3. Whoopi's lounge singer hair.


Laura Hart said...

I actually wanted to be a nun for a short time because of this movie. I thought it would be so fun! And your Brave Little Toaster reference? Were you with us when we watched it again while living in the Village (or was it Rockaway)? I remember Phillip being there. I don't know how I wasn't utterly traumatized by that film.

Heather said...

Ditto, Scott. My family wore out Sister Act and Sister Act 2. I even had the soundtrack for Sister Act 2. And I totally fell in love with Lauryn Hill then, as well.
My and my siblings were also obsessed with The Mighty Ducks (how lame was the third one? They go from competing in international games to junior varsity prep school hockey?)
And 3 Ninjas! I loved that movie SO much. I had crushes on 2/3 of the three ninjas (fuck Tum-Tum). After that movie, we all wanted to be ninjas. I remember doing ninja "training" with my friends. I actually wanted my house to get broken into just so I could employ all these tricks to kick the shit out of the bad guys like in the movie. Boy was I naive. (Home Alone did that to me as well).

Heather said...

My mom wouldn't let us watch Sister Act when it came out (I was 7) because she said it was too irreverent. I still haven't seen it. I did, however, watch (without asking or telling my mom) Sister Act 2 at a friend's party when it came out on VHS.

In retrospect, I don't know what had gotten into my mom's head. I don't remember her ever disallowing me from a movie before, or after. She also sat me in front of Breakfast Club when I was eight or nine when she wanted me to be quiet while she got some work done. After it was finished, I told her that she probably shouldn't have let me watch it, but not to worry because I knew not to say the "F word."

Andrew K. said...

Sister Act is much fun. Whoopi Goldberg really is talented (and good call on Lauryn Hill in Pt. 2)...but Katy Nijimi (sp.?) was a real standout in this one. An underrated film indeed.

oliveobrien1978 said...

Love this film! Being a nun never looked like so much fun, I'm sure it's like that in reality too (not)