Number of Times Seen – 1 (8 Nov 2018)
Brief Synopsis – A Pastor and his wife ask for help from Heaven when they try to get a new church built for their community and get an angel to try and help them.
My Take on it – Hollywood always loves to try and update films that work and this is no exception to that rule.
The original film that this is based on is The Bishop’s Wife (1947) which is a Holiday classic that was nominated for Best Picture but this version just isn’t as good even if it uses the same premise and just tries to update it for modern viewers.
Denzel Washington is fine in the lead, but he seems to be missing the charisma and magic that the same character had when played by Cary Grant nearly 50 years earlier.
When comparing the two there really is no contest and it’s clear which is the better and more memorable version of this story.
They do manage to modernize the story quite well and that helps keep the realism moving along the whole time.
Unfortunately, something feels missing that would make this film as enjoyable as the original.
The choice to change the church to one featuring Gospel music is a good one because it allows for the talent of Whitney Houston to be seen when she gets to sing throughout.
If you’re interested in a magical holiday film, go see the original instead of this one tho.
Bottom Line – Interesting idea to try and update this film, but it’s no where near as good as the original. Washington isn’t nearly as charismatic as Grant and that hurts the story if one knows the original. The way they modernize the story works quite well and it’s all done quite realistically, but it doesn’t manage to capture the magic that the original story presented even if they stick quite close to the original screenplay. he change to a Gospel church is a nice move and lets Houston use her singing talent throughout. Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – In 2009, Whitney Houston revealed on The Oprah Winfrey Show (1986) that by the time The Preacher’s Wife (1996) started shooting, her cocaine and marijuana habits had gotten so bad, that there was never a day, while filming the movie, on which she had not done some drugs. (From IMDB)
Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)
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