Deloris (Whoopi Goldberg) is a lounge singer in Reno who witnesses her gangster boyfriend, Vince LaRocca (Harvey Keitel) kill a man and is put into witness protection – in a convent. Of course, she is all streetwise and sweary and cynical and the nuns are fearful like Mother Superior (Maggie Smith), totally naïve like Mary Patrick (Kathy Najimy)and Mary Robert (Wendy Makkena) or cynical like Mary Lazarus (Mary Wickes). It’s a disaster – and then Deloris is put in charge of the choir and funks it up, and everyone loves it – the nuns are having too much fun, the local people are literally pouring in off the street, even the Pope hears about it. Everyone except Mother Superior, who is dead jealous and can’t stand to lose the power she has over them all.
It’s really a pretty awful film in many ways. I have a lot of issues with organised religion, yet I found myself getting annoyed that some outsider felt she could tell the nuns how to do their business… Plus, surely most nuns these days (even the really old ones) work in the community, and while they may have opinions about things that happen, they’re not in their convents to hide. Reading too much into this? Hell, yes. It essentially is a fun bit of fluff with some pretty fun singing and silly faces. Perhaps I should just back off a bit.