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A Holiday Moment with THE PREACHER'S WIFE

Tinsel & Tine's

The LAMB Contest

Favorite Christmas Movie:


By Le Anne Lindsay, Editor

If you're a regular Tinsel & Tine reader, you've probably noticed that I end my reviews with a LAMB rating. This stands for Large Ass Movie Blogging Association for which I am a member.  This year Jay Cluitt who runs The Lamb, asked us to do a little write up on our favorite Christmas movie and then he'd create a head to head bracket challenges for the readers and members to vote on until the favorite Christmas movie was declared.  I chose Whitney Houston, Denzel Washington and Courtney B. Vance in The Preacher's Wife, not so much because I thought it could win, but because it most assuredly should be championed and brought to the attention of anyone who hasn't yet seen it.  My second choice would have been The Holiday with Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law & Jack Black.

Jay wound up matching my Preacher's Wife up with something weird called LAPLAND ODYSSEY, which for a moment on Twitter, was kicking my movie's butt, but eventually no matter where you cast your vote, The Preacher's Wife took the lead... 


I’m the type to cringe when I hear Christmas music at Thanksgiving, I’m really not in the mood until that final, crazy Christmas frenzy starting somewhere around December 15th or better yet, later. However, I make one exception to this ban on early Carols, and that is, still to this day, I’m happy to listen to Whitney Houston’s The Preacher's Wife: Original Soundtrack Album - all year round. It debuted with the movie in 1996 and remains the best-selling gospel album of all time. The soundtrack also remained at number one for a record twenty-six weeks on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums Chart. I used to picture myself singing “Who Would Imagine a King” to my son or daughter as their favorite bedtime lullaby; the rousing “Step by Step” written by one of my other all-time favorite artists, Annie Lennox, is still one I listen to in my workout music rotation and "Joy" (with the Georgia Mass Choir) written by Kirk Franklin, well, the title says it all!

 I could go on about the album, but this isn’t the only reason why this is my favorite Christmas movie. Directed by Penny Marshall, this uplifting holiday offering is one of the first movies with a black cast I can honestly say stole my heart. The other two are Whitney Houston movies as well, “The Bodyguard” (1992) and “Waiting to Exhale” (1995), before these flicks, there were plenty of socially relevant, inspiring, important, some terribly amateurish, and some great comedies with Richard Pryor or Eddie Murphy; but in my opinion, it wasn’t until Houston’s short-lived movie career that I could actually relate to a film with a predominately black cast as it was as delightfully sappy and romantic as many of the old movies I grew up watching, like the film it’s based upon, Cary Grant’s “The Bishops Wife”.

In a nutshell, Rev. Henry Biggs (Courtney B. Vance) is the pastor of a small, struggling Baptist church in a poverty-stricken neighborhood of New York City. His wife Julia (Whitney Houston) is devoted to her husband, the church and their young son, Jeremiah, but she’s not feeling very appreciated in her marriage as Rev Biggs has so much more to contend with than romancing his wife. In pops Dudley (Denzel Washington) he’s not on the scene as an answered prayer by Julia, rather he’s an Angel sent to take some of the burden off of Rev Biggs, although, his methods include befriending Jeremiah, and some close to inappropriate attention paid to the good preacher’s wife. The always no-nonsense Jennifer Lewis plays Julia’s suspicious mother; there’s a cute little B romantic story-line between the reverend’s secretary (Loretta Devine) and a corpulent parishioner (Paul Bates). The late great Gregory Hines plays the villain of the movie, a greedy real estate developer trying to woo Rev. Biggs away from his small parish to run his big soulless church. And Lionel Richie makes his acting debut as a night club owner who knew Julia before she became a preacher’s wife. All in all, every scene and frame is warm, funny and musically the embodiment of holiday cheer.

The Best Christmas movie contest continues on the LAMB Click HERE to see the other results.

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This post first appeared on Tinsel & Tine Philly Film & Food, please read the originial post: here

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A Holiday Moment with THE PREACHER'S WIFE


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