Making the Grades
Corrina is an out-of-work college graduate played by Whoopi Goldberg, who seems to be more surprising in each movie she makes. It's wonderful to see this actress continuing to choose sensitive roles, and doing an excellent job portraying those characters. Her last movie, Sister Act 2, showed very positive elements and maintained a high interest level for young people. Corrina, Corrina isn't likely to hold the kids, but parents and older teens would do well to spend an evening with this film.
Whoopi's Corrina lands a job with the Singer family as a maid. Molly Singer (Tina Majorino) is a little five year old who refuses to talk since the death of her mother. Her Dad, Manny (played by Ray Liotta) is a jingle writer at an advertising agency, whose creative juices have been subdued since the loss of his wife. Of course, Corrina comes onto the scene and is the one influence that can bring Molly back to life and help Dad write jingles as well.
But this is life in 1959, so you know that the obvious romance that is going to develop between Manny, a Caucasian Jew, and Corrina is not going to go over well with the neighbors or their friends. However, Molly is convinced that Corrina is perfect for Dad, and sets off on her mission to bring them together.
The humor in this movie is subtle, and so are the messages. Many may consider Corrina, Corrina to be dull and lifeless... just another movie about racism. However if you watch closely, you can see a very realistic relationship developing. Sex, physical attraction, and skin color are not the priorities here. Instead, the love that develops between Manny and Corrina is one of trust, friendship, and the joy of being together. That kind of relationship is much more difficult to portray on the screen, and isn't seen often enough in movies today.