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The Preacher's Wife (1996)

Reviews

10/10: Beautiful Romantic Entertaining Movie
Friday, December 4, 2009

As a rule I don't tend to warm to remakes of classic films however the Penny Marshall directed Christmas story "The Preacher's Wife", is a definite exception and has become one of my favourite festive season viewing experiences. Based on the classic Samuel Goldwyn film "The Bishop's Wife", which starred legends Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven, this 1996 effort has a charm and slant on the essentially same story all its own. Denzel Washington in the role of an angel sent down to earth to sort out the life of a preacher who has lost sight of what really is important, is a most worthy successor to Cary Grant in the original film and Whitney Houston in the female lead displays a warm screen presence and great musical talent that couldn't be bettered in this type of story. Amazingly I only saw this film for the first time 3 years ago but it has...

3/10: Dud remake
Friday, December 21, 2018

I love the original classic Hollywood movie "The Bishop's Wife" which starred Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven, on which this remake was based and really hoped that this feature, directed by the recently deceased Penny Marshall, would give me as much enjoyment as the original this Christmas.Sadly for me it didn't. It should have worked, with Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston heading the cast but somehow it just never took off. Transplanting the action up to date to a poor black neighbourhood where kids can get mistakenly arrested and convicted just for being on the periphery of a crime scene should have worked as should the injection of Yuletide evangelical fervour as Houston whips her gospel choir into shape, but it doesn't.Denzel Washington is dapperly dressed as the fallen angel Dudley, who gets his chance to do a good deed on earth at Christmas time for his boss upstairs and gets to smile...

3/10: Disappointing remake
Sunday, September 4, 2005

Yet another cinematic remake of an older classic that begs the question: "Why?" Especially when the changes made to script and story not only offer no improvement, but are actually giant steps backward."The Bishop's Wife," upon which this film is based, beats this one hands down in all major categories of story, direction, and acting. I even enjoyed the original soundtrack by Hugo Friedhofer far better, in spite of the fact that this film was obviously intended to be a vehicle to exploit Whitney Houston's vocal talent. (Does that remind you of another Whitney Houston vehicle co-starring Kevin Costner?)In the original movie, a need for an angel to be sent to the Bishop makes perfect sense...the bishop played by David Niven was obviously conflicted with earthly ambitions and had lost his way spiritually, sadly neglecting his wife and child in the process. In this remake, Denzel as Dudley the angel seems lost as to...

6/10: It's a Wonderful Bishop's Life
Friday, March 12, 2010

I saw this when it was in the theaters. I basically loved it mainly for its music and Jennifer Lewis' (Julia's mother) performance, but also I loved the opening and closing (climax) scenes. I'm basically a sucker for that kind of thing, and I understand how other people wouldn't find it interesting. I just saw the movie (The Bishop's Wife) which it was based on and finally feel qualified to comment. TPW was not just a remake of TBW, but more of a combination of TBW and "It's a Wonderful Life." Henry in TPW was the character of Jimmy Stewart in IWL, always caring for the underdog (altho very cynical to the angel's angelhood); Joe Hamilton in TPW was "Mr Potter" of the same, with his schemes to redevelop and control the town. I actually found it charming the way elements of TBW found themselves woven into TPW: the ice skating scene, the typewriter...

8/10: Pretty good, enjoyable
Saturday, June 27, 2009

There is no reason to be hard on this film. An overall rating of 5.2 is very low, in my opinion, and there is little to dislike about "The Preacher's Wife." It's a fairly simple story involving Dudley (Denzel Washington), an angel sent to earth to assist a pastor's marriage during Christmas time. One reason I liked this film is because few romantic comedies in recent years have been clean enough to watch with the entire family. There is almost nothing objectionable here, just a few brief, very mild swear words that have no bearing on the film. It's a decently funny film as well. I had to laugh at Dudley finding an image of a Windows computer screen in his angel handbook. The wisecracking grandmother was also a beneficial addition to the movie. Take her comment "We're gonna play Monopoly, with real money." There are still a few things that could have been...

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