The Preacher’s Wife Blu-ray Review
THE PREACHER’S WIFE is a sweet, holiday movie that will warm the cockles of even the coldest heart with Denzel Washington’s smile, Whitney Houston’s voice and the little kid’s cuteness. Is it Oscar-worthy acting? No. Will it go down in history as one of the best films made? Doubtful. But it does have the potential to be a second-tier holiday favorite that families pull out after several viewings of WHITE CHRISTMAS and ELF due to its charm. Did I mention the adorable kid?
Henry (Courtney B. Vance) is an inner-city reverend who is struggling to make ends meet at St. Matthew’s Baptist Church. He’s forever reaching out to the senior citizens, single moms and even spends much of his spare time trying to help assist a local youth who has been wrongfully accused of a crime. On top of everything else, real estate guru Joe Hamilton (Gregory Hines) wants to tear down St. Matthew’s and build a mega church in its place. One day, he desperately prays for the Lord to send help. And that help comes in the form of a sharply dressed man by the name of Dudley (Denzel Washington) who just happens to be an angel from heaven.
Henry’s wife Julia (Whitney Houston) is involved in the church as well, but she nor their son Jeremiah (cute kid alert) never really garner the attention of her husband. Dudley quickly realizes that the reason he has been sent to help Henry is not for the sake of the church, but to save his marriage. In doing so, Dudley must walk a delicate line of appropriate behavior. He must remind Henry all of the wonderful characteristics of his wife without falling for Julia himself. This turns out to be harder than he expected.
What I loved about this movie was the “feel goodness” of the characters. It is so refreshing to see an entire film dedicated to helping out those in need. THE PREACHER’S WIFE definitely sets out to prove that every individual can make a difference in someone else’s life and that even though you may have lost your way, you can always find it again with the help of others.
What was discerning about the movie was Washington’s character essentially falling in love with Houston. It was weird to think an angel from heaven had the hots for Houston, but Washington pulled it off for the most part. It felt a little “off” but Washington is so sincere and smooth that it didn’t feel gross or wrong. He often quickly pulled me out of the moment by doing something completely dorky to cut the romantic tension. Who knew he had such great comedic timing?
I also enjoyed the showcasing Whitney Houston’s amazing singing talent. She thrived in front of the church choir and blew me away at the jazz club. Her vocal stylings definitely brought depth to her character and I feel she was perfectly cast.
THE PREACHER’S WIFE is a sweet movie that families will enjoy. It’s a film that encourages us to ask for help. And when we do ask for help, it’s okay to expect miracles.
Video: I saw this movie in 1996 when it first came out. The digitally remastered Blu-ray was impressive.
Audio: Even though I loved the music, I had to turn down the volume when the choir sang because it was so loud. Then I had to turn the volume back up for the dialog. There was a lot of remote controlling.
Theatrical Trailer (0:55): The original theatrical trailer from 1996.
Featurette (4:26): Whitney Houston and Denzel Washington are interviewed for this piece. Houston talks about how she loved singing gospel with the Georgia Mass Choir and Washington spoke on his love for comedy and how he appreciated Penny Marshall trusting him to be funny.