Movie Review: Sister Act

Sister Act Trailer

Sister Act Summary

In 1968, Deloris Wilson is a young Catholic school student, who is less than serious about her studies, greatly embarrassing her nun teachers.

Twenty-four years later, in 1992, Deloris is a lounge singer in Reno, Nevada, performing as Deloris Van Cartier. After she witnesses her gangster boyfriend Vince LaRocca execute an informant, police lieutenant Eddie Souther places her in witness protection. She is brought to Saint Katherine’s Convent in Saint Katherine’s Parish, in a run-down neighborhood in San Francisco. Deloris initially objects, then relents.

The head nun of St. Katherine’s,”Reverend Mother”, also objects to taking Deloris in but Monsignor O’Hara, the local parish priest, convinces her to go along with it as the police will pay the failing convent a good sum of money to do so. Disguised as “Sister Mary Clarence”, Deloris initially has difficulty dealing with the rigid and simple convent life but befriends the other nuns, (Sister Mary Patrick, the elderly Sister Mary Lazarus and the Novice Sister Mary Robert). One night, after a poorly attended Sunday Mass, with a lackluster performance from the convent choir, led by Mary Lazarus, Deloris sneaks out to a bar, followed by Mary Patrick and Mary Robert. They are caught by the Reverend Mother, who orders Deloris join the struggling choir. With her singing experience, Deloris is elected their director and transforms the choir.

At the next Sunday Mass, Deloris leads the much-improved choir in a traditional hymn, then shifts into a combined Gospel and Rock and Roll interpretation. Although Reverend Mother is infuriated, Monsignor O’Hara congratulates their unorthodox performance for attracting new people to the service. Convinced by Deloris, he allows the nuns to clean the church and the neighborhood. Their singing and efforts to revitalize the neighborhood attract media attention, and the parish starts to thrive.

Souther chastises Deloris for nearly being exposed on national television as Vince has placed a bounty on her head. She assures him she will try to keep a lower profile and Souther attends a Mass. The nun’s choir continues to amaze parishioners and visitors, especially with a rendition of “My Guy” – rewritten and performed as “My God”.

O’Hara informs the convent that Pope John Paul II, having heard of the choir’s success, will visit the church. Deloris tells Reverend Mother that Vince’s upcoming trial means she will soon leave; the Mother reveals she has resigned as abbess, believing she is no longer useful to the convent as her authority was undermined. Deloris tries to convince her to stay but the Mother retorts that she believes herself too old-fashioned and incapable to continue in office.

Souther discovers a corrupt detective in his own department, who has given Deloris’ location to Vince and rushes to San Francisco to warn her. She and Mary Robert are kidnapped by Vince’s men but Deloris helps her escape. Afterward, Reverend Mother reveals to the nuns that Sister Mary Clarence is Deloris Van Cartier explains why she had been hiding in their convent. They decide to rescue Deloris, requesting a helicopter pilot to fly them to Reno. 

Vince orders his men to kill Deloris but they cannot bring themselves to shoot her dressed in a nun’s habit. Arriving at Vince’s casino, the nuns find her after she escapes from Vince’s men. They become trapped in the casino lounge and Deloris prepares to sacrifice herself. Vince is hesitant, but prepares to shoot her. His hesitation is just long enough for Souther to arrest them.

Thanking Deloris for her actions, Reverend Mother decides to remain as abbess of the convent. Returning to San Francisco, the choir, led by Deloris, sing “I Will Follow Him” to a packed audience in a refurbished Saint Katherine’s, receiving a standing ovation from all, including the Pope, Monsignor O’Hara, and Souther. Deloris continues to guide and coach the choir as a touring musical group.

Sister Act Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Sister Act is one of Whoopi’s classics. Its funny, musical and appropriate for the family with a speckle of action.

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