A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that characters face real-life difficulties. One little boy's mother died and he's taken away to foster care because his grandmother is too old to care for him. A teen boy is accused of an armed robbery he didn't commit. A church and community face redevelopment. Dudley also flirts with two women during the film.
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What's the story?
In the heartwarming and family-friendly THE PREACHER'S WIFE, Rev. Henry Biggs (Courtney B. Vance) bears the weight of his small and struggling community on his shoulders and he seems to be losing every fight. First a neighborhood kid Henry bailed out in the past is accused of holding up a local store and shooting out the windows. Then his son's best friend Hakim (Darvel Davis Jr.) loses his mother and is put in foster care, crushing his son's spirit. Then the local teen center gets shuttered to make way for luxury condominiums. Amid all this, his mother-in-law is staying with him and he and his wife (Whitney Houston) are growing further and further apart. Calling this a crisis of faith would be an understatement. One night, Biggs utters, "If you get a moment, I sure could use some help," and instantly a friendly angel in the form of Denzel Washington appears. Hallelujah, indeed.
Is it any good?
Hope is nothing but a prayer, according to this big-hearted film. Or rather, hope is what it feels like to pray and have faith. Those lessons are the center of The Preacher's Wife, which offers some of the sweetest and best farce and comedy around. Seeing Denzel Washington twirling about in the snow and Vance hamming it up is a real treat. And because this is a Whitney Houston movie in a church setting, she appropriately plays the choir mistress. Expect lots of wonderful singing from her and the Georgia Mass Choir.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: December 13, 1996
- On DVD or streaming: August 13, 2002
- Cast: Denzel Washington, Gregory Hines, Whitney Houston
- Director: Penny Marshall
- Studio: Buena Vista
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy
- Run time: 124 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: parental guidance
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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