Making the Grades
For those of you who remember Fame (the TV show about the artsy New York high school where kids danced their way through English and math), Sister Act 2 is Fame plus a few nuns. In the sequel the sisters have become the operators of a high school in San Francisco's inner city. As usual, the sisters are in a bind. They need a new music teacher, so off they go to Vegas to find Sister Mary Clarence (Goldberg).
Sister Mary accepts, of course, and is assigned to a music class of apathetic kids in a school that is destined to be closed due to a lack of money and poor achievement records. The rest of the movie continues with the classic plot of teacher trying to make students excited about learning.
The first hour leaves you as tired as Sister Mary, and you wish it would end soon. But suddenly, Sister Act 2 resurrects itself into a worthwhile, albeit sentimental and predictable film. The kids get their acts together and start trying harder and they are rewarded by attending the all state music competition with the usual predictable outcome.
The start of the movie has some sexual overtones in Whoopi's Vegas lounge act, and the nuns lie a little too often to be believable. The language is tame, although the few problem words are all religious derivations spoken by priests and nuns that are trying too hard to be cool. Most movies depict inner-city kids in the usual typecast way, yet the kids here are still realistic without the profanity.
Overall I have a hard time not liking any film that gives people, especially young people, a message that hard work can pay off and that goals can be achieved. Sister Act 2 has a worthwhile message wrapped in some attractive music, and the kids do a good job of making religion look cool.