Sister Act: 7+ Thoughts I Had While Rewatching The Whoopi Goldberg Movie

Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Najimy, and Wendy Makkena in Sister Act
(Image credit: Touchstone Pictures)

Sister Act is one of the quintessential ‘90s movies. It’s a film that many Gen X and millennials grew up watching, and Gen Z will probably judge us for loving so much. The movie is a comedy that stars Whoopi Goldberg as a lounge singer who must hide in a convent to escape her gangster ex-boyfriend. It’s one of the ‘90s movies with major box office success. It also gained a cult following, had a successful sequel, and was adapted into a Broadway musical.

Thirty years later, and it’s still a favorite movie of many viewers who grew up watching it. Capitalizing on the love and nostalgia for Sister Act, Sister Act 3 is coming to Disney+. No matter how good Sister Act 3 or any future sequels are, I doubt any of them can compete with the silly, endearing nature of the original, and after rewatching it, I have many thoughts.

Maggie Smith in Sister Act

(Image credit: Touchstone Pictures)

Sometimes The Best Films Have Plots That Make No Sense

Sister Act is not a film even remotely preoccupied with realistic scenarios. It takes on the attitude of just doing what it wants and seeing what happens. The plot about Deloris (Whoopi Goldberg) going into the witness protection program in a convent has quite a few ethical and logistical issues. The first is that I would assume that law enforcement would probably relocate someone in the witness protection program to someplace as far away as possible from their original location. They would also hopefully have someone around to monitor the person to make sure they didn’t end up on national television.

I would also hope that a known gangster would be monitored by the police to stop him from seeking out the person he is trying to kill. The film even jokes about how badly the police kept her protected, but that level of incompetency should really be investigated.

Also, don’t get me started on the corrupt cop making it so obvious that he was corrupt. Like, did he even try to cover it up? There are a ton of things that aren’t realistic about Sister Act, but who cares?

The best thing about comedies is that (sometimes) they don’t have to make (total) sense. They just need to be funny, and Sister Act is very funny. 

Harvey Keitel and Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act

(Image credit: Touchstone Pictures)

What A Dream Cast...What An Unusual Dream Cast

Sister Act features one of Whoopi Goldberg’s best performances. The ‘80s and ‘90s were really the golden-age for Whoopi Goldberg fans. She shines in Sister Act. The entire cast of the film shines, and they are not names you would automatically associate with this film. It almost feels like the casting director picked actors at random to be in a movie together, but it all works. 

The seriousness of Maggie Smith works perfect for her character. You’d expect Harvey Keitel to play a gangster, but you wouldn’t expect him to do it so well in a comedy. Even the supporting cast gives great performances. Kathy Najimy has her usual quirky charm, and Bill Nunn gives the ideal amount of both tough cop and incompetent cop swag. 

Whoopi Goldberg singing in Sister Act

(Image credit: Touchstone Pictures)

The Musical Numbers Still Bring Me So Much Joy

I don’t consider Sister Act one of those funny musicals.To me, it’s a comedy with music in it. It is, however, a movie where the musical moments are so vital to the film. Before rewatching Sister Act, I remembered the big performance numbers much more than the plot, and that’s because they command your attention.  

It’s also very clever how it gives many Motown songs a gospel twist. Watching all the musical numbers again and seeing Deloris teach the choir are truly joyous moments. This is when Sister Act really becomes an uplifting film. It also shows these characters finally have some fun. It is in these scenes that Deloris bonds with the other sisters. 

Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act

(Image credit: Touchstone Pictures)

Sister Act Is Another Movie That Reminds Me When Studios Were Bolder 

I am definitely becoming the old man who sits on his porch and goes, “Back in my day...,” because I am now nostalgic for a time when the studios tried things. They released films that were more of a gamble. Of course, smaller studios, such as A24, which has amazing movies, are taking more chances with films. This is not the norm. Bigger studios seem to be playing it much safer with adaptations, reboots, remakes, and franchise films. I am a film fan, so I love all kinds of movies, including the types I just listed, but I wish more studios would take a gamble with what gets made.

Sister Act was an original idea that Disney took a chance on and it really paid off. Of course, the risk doesn’t always mean a reward. Plenty of new ideas have bombed at the box office, but studios make enough money to take more risks. You never know what can become another surprise success like Sister Act. 

Maggie Smith as a nun in Sister Act

(Image credit: Touchstone Pictures)

The Film Undoes The Sound Of Music’s Nun Slander

The Sound of Music is based on real events, so the nuns may have really been super annoyed by Maria, but nuns don’t come off in the best light in that film. Now in Sister Act, they may be slightly naive and quirky, but they also seem sweet, caring, and brave. It gives nuns a great name. It restores the good name of nuns that may have been slightly tarnished with The Sound of Music. 

Bill Nunn and Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act

(Image credit: Touchstone Pictures)

More Thoughts 

While watching Sister Act, I continued to have more thoughts, so here are a few of the other ones that went through my head:

  • Deloris’s outfits in the first few scenes are so chic. I would have loved to see more of her fashion sense put into the nun outfit. 
  • The scene where the nuns guilt trip the pilot into helping is such a clever way to keep their integrity but allow them to show aggression.
  • Keeping up with his failure as an officer, it seems that Lieutenant Eddie Souther (Bill Nunn) develops a hint of romantic feelings for Deloris. Very unprofessional, but I would watch that romance play out. 
  • Whoopi Goldberg and Maggie Smith could win awards just for their ability to use non-verbal acting. 
  • Reverend Mother (Maggie Smith) knows how to throw shade.
  • I wonder how nuns took this movie, because despite it being a comedy about them, it seems very respectful towards nuns and religion, which I say as someone who knows little about nuns and religion.

Sister Act is one of the best ‘90s movies to watch on Disney+, and it’s a fun film that reminds us that nuns can be cool sometimes.

Jerrica Tisdale
Freelance Writer

Spent most of my life in various parts of Illinois, including attending college in Evanston. I have been a life long lover of pop culture, especially television, turned that passion into writing about all things entertainment related. When I'm not writing about pop culture, I can be found channeling Gordon Ramsay by kicking people out the kitchen.