Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Preacher's Wife

I made another addition to my Listmania list that I wanted to share with you. Since it's the Christmas season now, it's time for our family to keep our tradition of watching this movie over and over again. Sometimes we leave it on while we're doing other things, like wrapping gifts or making cookies, along with "It's a Wonderful Life" or "Miracle on 34th Street." This movie is the modern version of "The Bishop's Wife" and I actually like it better. The major difference is that it's set in the black community and the church culture is very similar to the one that I grew up in. Denzel Washington plays Dudley, the angel, (Cary Grant was Dudley in the Bishop version) and Whitney Houston is the preacher's wife, Julia (played by Loretta Young in the original). Putting aside the sadness of Whitney's life now (she needs prayer), she plays the part beautifully and Denzel is so funny, especially his interactions with Henry, the preacher, who is played by Courtney Vance. David Niven was the bishop in the first.

This is classified as a romantic comedy and we do laugh every time we watch it. It's funny how certain movies will make you laugh even after seeing them over and over. The "h" word shows up a couple of times, but there will be little else that you would find offensive, even though it was produced in this day and age. One reason I like it is that even though the church culture is clearly there, it's done tastefully, and not foolishly. Also, even though it takes place in an urban setting, the harshness of inner city life is not focused on as it is in many other movies. Sure, the hard stuff is a reality, but there are some pretty nice folks in the city too. If you do get this movie or rent it, tell me if you don't agree that Henry and Julia's son Jeremiah is adorable.

I like all these Christmas stories and have watched them so many times, but like most, this one has no clear gospel message of who Jesus is and why He came. The closest we get to it is during the children's musical near the end. How I wish someone would produce a good Christmas story with good acting and a good plot, and somehow incorporate the true meaning of the first coming of our Lord and Savior. If you know of any, please let the rest of us know about it.


A Note From Theresa said...

Just stopping by to say hello. Thanks for the movie tip. I'll have to look into that. Thanks

Lori said...

Oh, I forgot about that movie! I'm going to have to rent that one again! It was good!!

If you haven't seen the Ultimate Gift - That is a must see also. It does have a pretty clear message. Maybe not salvation, but it does talk about God's commands for us and dieing to ourselves.

Maxine said...

Oh yes, Lori. I saw the Ultimate Gift. It was a nice story.

But my daughter and I just watched a Hallmark movie called "The Christmas Box." It had a little message there--but I don't want to give away the plot in case anyone wants to find it. It stars Richard Thomas (John Boy Walton) and had nothing at all offensive in it so I would recommend it as a nice little Christmas story. It came with a follow up story called "Timepiece," which we will watch next.

kris said...

I love The Preacher's Wife too!
I am able to get the Hallmark channel on TV and there are lots of great movies on there during December. I watched one last night called, Silent Night, about a mother and son in Germany toward the end of WWII. It was great.

Cathy said...

Very interesting that the movie is a new version of that old movie. I'll have to rent or watch for that one. Thanks for telling us about it.

chrisd said...

I haven't seen the newer one, but based on your review, maybe I should.

I saw The Christmas Box and cried. So, no, I won't watch that one.

I watch the standard ones. And I don't care WHO knows. It's all the Rankin Bass cartoon/stop action figure ones. I would watch them if I didn't have children.

And White Christmas w/Bing Crosby. And I sing the songs. And my husband gags and leaves the room.

And It's a Wonderful Life. And Grinch (my personal favorite, lately) And the Drummer Boy.

I save all these movies just for December and then will not watch them again until next Christmas!

Elise said...

I know what you mean about movies not having that clear picture of Jesus... I'll keep looking and hoping...

I saw this movie once, and liked it a lot! Thanks for reminding me of it - I'll add it to our Netflix queue!

Beverly said...

Love that movie :-)

Beka said...

Never seen this one myself, but it looks quite entertaining :-)

I'm still on the lookout for movies with a clear message of Jesus too... haven't found any yet, but we'll keep our eyes open.


I will be looking out for this newest version of the old movie.Thank you, Maxine.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend. I wanted to thank you for signing my guest book. You look just like your older daughter. Wonderful. connie from Texas

Barbara said...

Sounds like a great movie. I love to see Denzel Washington play!

The Hallmark Channel is having lots of Christmas movies that are very good this year.

sparrow's song said...

I perfer the modern version of The Preacher's Wife as well.

Besides being beautiful, Whitney has phenomenal vocals. But yes, she needs prayer. But you know, I think God teaches us grace through our own weaknesses and failures. We can see first hand how easy it is to be drawn away from the things of God through the world's deceitfulness. Not that God allows us to stumble but that He uses it to teach us the depth of grace and compassion we need to embrace in understanding others. How easily we could all fall and far faster than we could imagine. Oh, Lord keep us close. Our own first hand experience in humility goes a long ways. And actually now when I look back, I can appreciate that almost crushing lesson because it's made me a much more useful vessel for Him. It brings tears to my eyes in reflecting to His mercy for that past situation. If she is His child, which I feel she is, then He will draw her home. Then she'll be 'right as rain'.

Romans 3:23
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God

you shared,
I like all these Christmas stories and have watched them so many times, but like most, this one has no clear gospel message of who Jesus is and why He came. The closest we get to it is during the children's musical near the end.

That's hollywood for you. They seem to touch on the religious aspects and human emotions but never the guts of the gospel.

Maxine said...

Thanks for all the comments on this movie. For those of you who haven't seen it--try it, I think you'll like it!

And Sparrow, I particularly like your comment about Whitney. I do appreciate your Christian spirit. I know this is the posture that the Lord wants from us on these things. :-)