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Cameron H.

Musical Mondays Week 28 Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit

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So...is Sister Mary Patrick, like, the FULL TIME Sex Ed teacher?

 

OK so the roster is:

Sister Mary Clarence AND Sister Mary Lazarus - Music

Sister Mary Patrick - Sex Ed

Father Ignacious (Mr. Noodle) - Math

Bobo Billy Bob Thorton - Latin

Father Maurice - Principal

Sister Mary Robert - ?

Mother Superior - ?

Father Wolfgang - (Not even sure who he was)

 

No wonder this place is TOTALLY getting shut down.

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I loved when Sister Mary Roberts was pointing out Father Maurice and "Crispy" to Delores and says something like "well the old one is..." and then it the movie cuts to two gray-haired, old men.

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So, my favorite line in the movie is when Lauryn Hill tells them that her mom won't sign the consent form. Whoopi and one of the other nuns is like, "Oh no! Why not?!" And Sister Mary Lazarus just goes, "Well give us back the consent form!"

 

I think if this forum were a convent, and we were all analogous characters, I'd be Mary Lazarus.

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Another thing that bothered me about this movie is what about the rest of the school? Granted, Delores was brought in to teach the Music class, but it's obvious that the issues that school is facing run much deeper than just one music class (btw - is that her only class? Are there not other music classes?). So at the end everyone is happy because everything is "fixed," but nothing Delores did will fix anything beyond that handful of students. For example, she didn't teach Mary Patrick to be a better Sex Ed teacher or keeping the students in Father Thomas' class from falling into a coma during his lectures.

 

It also bothered me that at one point Father Maurice tells Mother Superior that Delores has been "disruptive," but she's literally done nothing disruptive at all! Her students are - and always have been - the problem. It's not like in the first one where she's a real wrench in the gears. In this movie she is nothing but cooperative and helpful from the jump. Unless you count not wanting to eat Father Wolfgang's pornographic bratwurst as "disruptive."

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OK so the roster is:

Sister Mary Clarence AND Sister Mary Lazarus - Music

Sister Mary Patrick - Sex Ed

Father Ignacious (Mr. Noodle) - Math

Bobo Billy Bob Thorton - Latin

Father Maurice - Principal

Sister Mary Robert - ?

Mother Superior - ?

Father Wolfgang - (Not even sure who he was)

 

No wonder this place is TOTALLY getting shut down.

 

Do you think the other nuns that performed with them at the senior center are teachers, or they just came in to sing and went back to the convent? They didn't ride the bus with them, so I could go either way on that.

 

And I don't think Father Wolfgang taught, I think he was just the in house German chef.

 

 

Another thing that bothered me about this movie is what about the rest of the school? Granted, Delores was brought in to teach the Music class, but it's obvious that the issues that school is facing run much deeper than just one music class (btw - is that her only class? Are there not other music classes?). So at the end everyone is happy because everything is "fixed," but nothing Delores did will fix anything beyond that handful of students. For example, she didn't teach Mary Patrick to be a better Sex Ed teacher or keeping the students in Father Thomas' class from falling into a coma during his lectures.

 

Not only this, but Delores is planning on leaving - she's not sticking around to teach music next year. Who is going to lead this choir? It didn't seem like any of the other nuns know how to teach music, they just know how to perform it. So the whole reason that they saved the school is kind of voided because no one will lead them.

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Was anyone else having issues trying to figure out Lauren Hill's mother's motivations and rationale? She says she wants Hill to focus on school and get good grades, but how is having her drop out doing her any good? By dropping it, at best she can hope for an Incomplete which is probably going to fuck up her GPA just as bad as getting an "F." I mean, the whole reason she was in Music class in the first place - at least as far as we know at first - was to get an easy "A." Isn't having her dropping the class counterproductive? Also, her mom seems to have a real issue with the class becoming a choir, but Hill didn't just join some extracurricular activity. Dolores made the unilateral decision to make them a choir. For Hill to do well in school, she HAS to stay in that class! Or, if her mother really is that opposed to it, she could go to Father Maurice - state her case - and hope he'll allow for a mid-semester (quarter?) transfer

 

I get she wanted her to focus on something other than singing, but she is intentionally sabotaging her daughter's academic career. It makes no sense.

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Was anyone else having issues trying to figure out Lauren Hill's mother's motivations and rationale? She says she wants Hill to focus on school and get good grades, but how is having her drop out doing her any good? By dropping it, at best she can hope for an Incomplete which is probably going to fuck up her GPA just as bad as getting an "F." I mean, the whole reason she was in Music class in the first place - at least as far as we know at first - was to get an easy "A." Isn't having her dropping the class counterproductive? Also, her mom seems to have a real issue with the class becoming a choir, but Hill didn't just join some extracurricular activity. Dolores made the unilateral decision to make them a choir. For Hill to do well in school, she HAS to stay in that class! Or, if her mother really is really that opposed to it, she could go to Father Maurice - state her case - and hope he'll allow for a mid-semester (quarter?) transfer

 

I get she wanted her to focus on something other than singing, but she is intentionally sabotaging her daughter's academic career. It makes no sense.

 

I feel like no one explained it was an actual class to her. I think she was under the impression that it was an after school thing since she seemed very concerned that Lauryn wouldn't be studying.

But I also don't understand how she kept quitting choir. I was in choir as a class in high school and if I told my teacher that I quit, they wouldn't let me wander back in every other week. They'd make me transfer to a study hall for the rest of the semester. They certainly wouldn't plan a huge solo for me in their big performance that I said I wasn't coming to. They also wouldn't let me just go home during that class period.

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New math, and I'm not 100% on this, was a new method for teaching math. I don't know what was different about it just a supposedly radical departure from how math was taught up to that point. This was also back in the 1950s or 60s because it's something I've heard my parents talk about. So, I've never been sure if "new math" is what has been taught since then or what. Based on what my friends with kids and social media say, math is taught differently than when I was a kid. So, I'm not sure. I've heard "new math" or "they must be using new math" to describe confusing numbers but even that's pretty outdated.

 

I think that's the joke in the movie though. The school is so outdated that they are finality able to do 30 year old teaching methods.

"The point is to understand what you're doing rather than get the right answer".

[media='']https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6OaYPVueW4[/media]

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I was in choir as a class in high school and if I told my teacher that I quit, they wouldn't let me wander back in every other week.

 

First of all: braaaaaag! Secondly, the way she kept peeping in on them after she quit, I mentally started referring to her as the choir’s own personal gargoyle.

 

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In the beginning, the nuns take Deloris to St Francis to see Mother Superior, but they're vague about the reason. It isn't until Deloris is at the school that she learns about the situation and then decides to stay and teach music class. So, did Deloris bring any luggage with her on this trip? Where is she staying? Is she getting a salary from the school or is she doing this pro bono?

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First of all: braaaaaag! Secondly, the way she kept peeping in on them after she quit, I mentally started referring to her as the choir’s own personal gargoyle.

 

One of my unintentional LOLs came when we see Lauryn Hill looking forlornly at the choir through the windows like some hungry orphan on Christmas Eve.

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Do you think the other nuns that performed with them at the senior center are teachers, or they just came in to sing and went back to the convent? They didn't ride the bus with them, so I could go either way on that.

 

OMG - the performance at the senior center. I thought it was fucked up that they gave the students the front row seats while the elderly were seated in the back.

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OMG - the performance at the senior center. I thought it was fucked up that they gave the students the front row seats while the elderly were seated in the back.

 

That performance...oh, lord. Although I thought the kids’ dismissive attitude afterward was much more realistic than the kids coming in off the street in the first one.

 

What annoyed me is that this movie didn’t really make much of an attempt to make the music, I don’t know, clever? In the first one, they rearrange traditional songs and change lyrics to suit the subject matter (e.g. “My Guy” becomes “My God”) In this one, it was basically just nuns and kids doing straight covers.

 

I guess “Ode to Joy” was kind of their “Salve Ragina,” but Ragina was the *first* song in Sister Act, not the last.

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What annoyed me is that this movie didn’t really make much of an attempt to make the music, I don’t know, clever? In the first one, they rearrange traditional songs and change lyrics to suit the subject matter (e.g. “My Guy” becomes “My God”) In this one, it was basically just nuns and kids doing straight covers.

 

Didn't you hear Frank-ay "rap" Mary Had a Little Lamb?

 

Yeah, I think the music in the first one was more enjoyable. Even the straight covers in the first one felt more clever, like "I Will Follow Him" - bc *wink* they are singing about the big guy in the sky. And in the first one, Deloris (in her own words) is a huge fan of the 50s girl groups so it was fun to see her introducing those influences to the nuns. In the second one we see Deloris helping the kids with vocal exercises and cleaning up the unused classroom?

I prefer the finale of the first one as well. The setting is just prettier to look at (church vs a stripped down stage). They are singing for the freakin Pope, instead of 3 rando choir judges. And even though there was less choreography in the first one, I preferred the more close up/panning shots of the nun choir than the wide shots of the kids dancing frenetically on stage.

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Okay. I have a few random questions/thoughts about this movie:

 

1. In the beginning of the movie, Deloris says she went to St Francis. But in the first movie, she's shown to have gone to St. Anne's. Did she transfer schools at some point?

 

2. At the end of the first movie, Deloris' story blows up. They do that whole thing that was popular at this time where they show the epilogue through magazine covers/newspaper headlines. We're led to believe she was a big deal. And no one in the city recognizes her? Like, at all? It would be one thing if, say, it happened in another city or something. But this literally happened at the SAME CHURCH. The administrator wasn't like, "Hey, this lady looks a lot like literally the only other black person that's ever been at this monastery." And none of the kids knew?

 

3. Cameron touched on it a bit, but the biggest problem I have with this movie is that it tried to do something different while also trying to cling to the wrong parts of the first movie. The first movie worked because it was a pretty by-the-book fish out of water story. She constantly butts heads with Mother Superior while winning the friendship of the other nuns because of her unconventional methods. Part of what makes it so great is that Maggie Smith and Whoopi are EXCELLENT against one another. They're the perfect foils for one another on every level. So what does this movie do? It starts out with a long hug between the two of them before Maggie Smith hands Whoopi a bucket of exposition and then disappears until the end. Instead, it looks like we're going to have a battle of wills between Whoopi and her class full of stereotypes, but she wins them over as quickly as she won over the nuns in the first movie. So where's the tension? There's the administrator that's going to shut the school down, but there's never any real conflict revealed between the two (and never any explanation of how the music program is going to be what saves the school). There's Lauryn Hill's mother, but we only see her...what, twice? Three times? That story isn't really fleshed out enough to make anyone care. A far more interesting story, I think, would have spent more time exploring Deloris trying to win over the students. It would have taken the first movie where Deloris was the unconventional outsider and flipped the premise so that now she had to realize that she was part of the establishment. OR it could have been a case of Maggie Smith reluctantly inviting her back because she knows she needs her help even though she still doesn't totally love Deloris, the class falling in love with her because she was so unconventional, but the administrator hating her for that same unconventionality, and in the end, Maggie Smith is the one that comes to her side and encourages her to be herself. Instead, the movie tries to do ALL of these things, and it comes out as a bit of a jumbled mess.

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I don't think it's the same church from the first movie. I think the nuns transferred to this dying school in...Los Angeles? San Fransisco? But the impression I had was that it was in a different city

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I just checked Wikipedia, both films take place in San Fran, the first was St Katherine's Parish, the second St Francis Academy

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Also can we just talk about how this sweet, almost saccharine movie was directed by legendary tough guy BILL DUKE! (it was also the first major Hollywood sequel to be directed by an African-American. I wonder if that was Whoppi's influence?)

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I don't think it's the same church from the first movie. I think the nuns transferred to this dying school in...Los Angeles? San Fransisco? But the impression I had was that it was in a different city

It's definitely the same church; they're just working with the school now (I don't know if that's how Catholic schools work, but that's how the movie sets it up).

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It's definitely the same church; they're just working with the school now (I don't know if that's how Catholic schools work, but that's how the movie sets it up).

I went to Catholic for two years (not even Catholic my mom just wanted a good education) and that is how they usually work. Our school was directly connected to the local parish and we would have to go to Friday mass every week. The only thing I even remember from mass is being hella bored and jealous that I was too young to receive communion.

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well then I have no explanation. I just assumed it was different. Maybe they were hoping that no body in the neighborhood would remember her. And that all the school board members were out of town that day. And don't read the newspaper.

 

My best guess is that this was a Die Hard With A Vengeance situation, where they took a pre-exisiting script and did a quick polish to make it about Whoopi and friends.

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well then I have no explanation. I just assumed it was different. Maybe they were hoping that no body in the neighborhood would remember her. And that all the school board members were out of town that day. And don't read the newspaper.

 

My best guess is that this was a Die Hard With A Vengeance situation, where they took a pre-exisiting script and did a quick polish to make it about Whoopi and friends.

 

I actually thought it was a different church too, which allowed me to handwave a lot of stuff. (though I did question why they abandoned the church they just saved, but whatever) But if this is the same church, then the priests really should have known better. I would assume they would have attended the Pope performance.

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Oh I read that Bette Midler turned down Sister Act. It would've been a vastly different film with Bette!

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It also bothered me that at one point Father Maurice tells Mother Superior that Delores has been "disruptive," but she's literally done nothing disruptive at all! Her students are - and always have been - the problem. It's not like in the first one where she's a real wrench in the gears. In this movie she is nothing but cooperative and helpful from the jump. Unless you count not wanting to eat Father Wolfgang's pornographic bratwurst as "disruptive."

THIS SCENE IS BANANAS. It's right after Whoopi finds out that they are going to be closing the school and then has a scene where she tells the other nuns. Out of nowhere, Father Maurice's concern is Sister Mary Clarence being disruptive? That's what he's anxious about?? He says to Mother Superior "My mind is CONSUMED with trying to deal with..." "Sister Mary Clarence?". Then they proceed to say her name no less than 5 more times "Tell me about YOUR experience with Sister Mary Clarence?" What the fuck? GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME FATHER.

 

It reminds me of Homer's demands about Poochie the dog - "whenever Poochie's not on screen, all the other characters should be asking "Where's Poochie?'

Was anyone else having issues trying to figure out Lauren Hill's mother's motivations and rationale? She says she wants Hill to focus on school and get good grades, but how is having her drop out doing her any good? By dropping it, at best she can hope for an Incomplete which is probably going to fuck up her GPA just as bad as getting an "F." I mean, the whole reason she was in Music class in the first place - at least as far as we know at first - was to get an easy "A." Isn't having her dropping the class counterproductive? Also, her mom seems to have a real issue with the class becoming a choir, but Hill didn't just join some extracurricular activity. Dolores made the unilateral decision to make them a choir. For Hill to do well in school, she HAS to stay in that class! Or, if her mother really is really that opposed to it, she could go to Father Maurice - state her case - and hope he'll allow for a mid-semester (quarter?) transfer

 

I get she wanted her to focus on something other than singing, but she is intentionally sabotaging her daughter's academic career. It makes no sense.

 

Did anyone else think it was a waste and/or ironic that her mother was played by legendary broadway actress Sheryl Lee Ralph

o-SHERYL-LEE-RALPH-DREAMGIRLS-facebook.jpg

She's the Dreamgirl in the middle.

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3. Cameron touched on it a bit, but the biggest problem I have with this movie is that it tried to do something different while also trying to cling to the wrong parts of the first movie. The first movie worked because it was a pretty by-the-book fish out of water story. She constantly butts heads with Mother Superior while winning the friendship of the other nuns because of her unconventional methods. Part of what makes it so great is that Maggie Smith and Whoopi are EXCELLENT against one another. They're the perfect foils for one another on every level. So what does this movie do? It starts out with a long hug between the two of them before Maggie Smith hands Whoopi a bucket of exposition and then disappears until the end. Instead, it looks like we're going to have a battle of wills between Whoopi and her class full of stereotypes, but she wins them over as quickly as she won over the nuns in the first movie. So where's the tension? There's the administrator that's going to shut the school down, but there's never any real conflict revealed between the two (and never any explanation of how the music program is going to be what saves the school). There's Lauryn Hill's mother, but we only see her...what, twice? Three times? That story isn't really fleshed out enough to make anyone care. A far more interesting story, I think, would have spent more time exploring Deloris trying to win over the students. It would have taken the first movie where Deloris was the unconventional outsider and flipped the premise so that now she had to realize that she was part of the establishment. OR it could have been a case of Maggie Smith reluctantly inviting her back because she knows she needs her help even though she still doesn't totally love Deloris, the class falling in love with her because she was so unconventional, but the administrator hating her for that same unconventionality, and in the end, Maggie Smith is the one that comes to her side and encourages her to be herself. Instead, the movie tries to do ALL of these things, and it comes out as a bit of a jumbled mess.

 

I also could've used more Maggie Smith in the sequel. Do you think maybe they were going for Lauryn Hill as the Maggie Smith stand in? They both have excellent I-don't-care-for-your-bullshit attitudes.

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