This Sunday is Easter, and Logo’s Cocktails And Classics is presenting Sister Act. Below, we celebrate all the reasons why this 1992 comedy is a queer classic.
Strong Female Characters
While it would’ve been easy to paint all the nuns as chaste disciples, the film takes the time to flesh them out. These sisters are funny, irreverent, kind, tough, and spirited and certainly don’t fit the mold of what a “woman” or a “nun” should be.
Whoopi, Kathy And Maggie
It’s All About Meeting People Where They’re At
The characters come to love one another not by changing each other, but by learning how to respect what makes them different. We see that in how the sisters adapt to Sister Mary Clarence’s joie de vivre and how she manages to incorporate their discipline into her life.
Though they initially judge one another, by they end of the film, the sisters celebrate their differences.
A Chosen Family
Like many of us, the women of St. Katherine’s Parish form a chosen family—even identifying each other as sisters. They encourage each other to be the best versions of themselves. And when the world tries to hold them down, they stand up together and face it as one.
Like plenty of gay children, I was bullied a lot, and took solace in the fearlessness in Sister Act.
There’s Sister Mary Clarence’s obvious act of courage in going into witness protection, but the film is peppered with small moments of bravery, whether it’s the nuns going into a night club for the first time or deciding to buck convention and make music their own way.
Carrie Fisher And Paul Rudnick!Brendon Thorne/Getty Images
After Bette Midler backed out of the project (gay gasp!), the script required several rounds of rewrites to make it work for the new star, Whoopi Goldberg.
Openly gay screenwriter Rudnick (In & Out, Addams Family Values) eventually took his name off the project, and Fisher was one of several script doctors brought in to work some magic. We’d say both these talented wordsmiths’ efforts are evident in the final version.
The Power Of Art
In Sister Act, art is transformative. It’s the thing that saves not only Deloris’ life, but the failing church. We queer folks have always understood that art—whether dance, song or murals—brings us together and makes the day a little more beautiful.
Deloris is a complete badass: Not only does she put away her murdering ex, but she, a black female lounge singer from Reno, manages to take a conservative, predominantly white enclave and transform it into a diverse and inclusive space.
She uses her status as an outsider to upend the Establishment, which is seriously inspiring and totally queer.
These numbers are performed with such conviction and passion that each is a showstopper in its own right.
While some argue Sister Act 2 has the more memorable songs, there’s nothing as magical as seeing the sisters whip out “Salve Regina” for the first time.
Sister Act and Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit air April 16 starting at 7/6c on Logo.