Preacher's Wife, The

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +4

Content: +3

For a joyous, uplifting movie experience, THE PREACHERS WIFE is the one to see. It will surely be a holiday box office favorite and one of the most entertaining musical comedies with Christian elements to ever come out of Hollywood. Following the story line of THE BISHOP'S WIFE, which was released in 1947, this new version takes place in a mid-sized northeastern city where pastor Henry Biggs (Courtney Vance) is tired and discouraged. He can't attend to all the people who need his help and can't afford to make the repairs and renovation his church building needs. When Henry prays to God for help, he gets a prompt reply in the form of an angel named Dudley (Denzel Washington) who drops in from heaven on a snowy day one week before Christmas. Also, Henry's talented, attractive wife, Julia (Whitney Houston) cheerfully supports him and leads the African American church choir in some very inspiring, often jazzy, gospel music. The only trouble is that Dudley and Julia are attracted to each other, and this situation almost gets out of hand. It's loads of fun to see how Henry's problems are resolved and to enjoy the exhilarating gospel and soul music rendered by Julia and the church choir.

Henry is a sincere, caring pastor who feeds the poor, testifies in court for a teenager in trouble and brings inspiring sermons to his flock. Yet, he is just about ready to give up and let his church property be converted into a shopping mall. He is also neglecting his wife, but when Dudley comes along and shows an interest in her, Julia's mother (Jenifer Lewis) sees that Julia stays on the straight and narrow. Unfortunately, the portrayal of Dudley as a human angel is misleading, as angels are spiritual beings created in heaven who never become human. Also, Henry blurts out two mild crudities, and several exclamatory profanities are spoken by various characters. A few mild sexually suggestive comical remarks are also included. Henry closes the film with an inspiring sermon on faith, hope and love of God and family. In spite of some minor flaws THE PREACHERS WIFE is an outstanding, wholesome comedy and its producer, Disney's Touchstone Pictures, should be commended.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Touchstone (Disney) & Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, 3900 W. Alameda Ave., Burbank, CA 9152

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Twice - Mild

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Exclamatory only - 6 (Oh my God, Oh my Lord)

Violence: Once - Moderate (robbery with shooting threats, no injuries)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times - Mild (comical references to buttocks and sex)

Drugs: Woman smokes cigarettes; whiskey drinking in home and night club.

Other: Many Christian elements, but misleading portrayal of an angel

Running Time: 124 minutes
Intended Audience: 6 years of age and older

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