Sister Mary Explains It All
Airs on Showtime at 8 p.m.EST on May 27. In this black comedy, Sister Mary (Keaton) contacts four of her former students (Benben, Langham, Tilly, and SanGiacomo) to put on the play that they wrote twenty years before for her annual Christmas lecture. Accepting to come back and put it on, they are more intent on embarrassing her, denouncing her beliefs (which are Hollywood’s version of basic Catholicism and Christianity) all with the hope of ruining her career as a nun.
First of all, what a waste of talent! Director Brickman (who has helmed some writing jobs with the all time great Woody Allen) directs a Black Comedy that is more bleak then comedic. The directing is one-dimensional; as are the characters, and the production values make this film look like a late night cable access program for insomniacs. This movie is so messed up theologically that I felt like encouraging the writer to attend my HIS 113 class in College. Sister Mary is portrayed as a morbid nun who imposes God’s beliefs as her own; determines that good behavior (and only good behavior) will get you into Heaven; proclaims that bad people go to Hell, and declares that there is a Purgatory. Her four former classmates let her down when they return (since she thought of them to be great students). All of them are leading lives that have “strayed from God”. One is gay, one has illegitimate children, another had abortion, and the fourth is an alcoholic. This “sister of Christ” reacts exactly opposite of the way the real Church would respond: Sister Mary condemns her four friends and tells them that God has turned His back on them. (What happened to hate the sin, love the sinner?) From the messed up theology in this story, we can assume that the writer had little or no church background. The only good thing to come out of this film – and I encourage older adults to view it for this reason, – is that it is a glowing example of Christian revisionism – showing the Church from the world’s point of view. Watching this movie should force us to ask several fundamental questions: Why does Hollywood view the church as it does? How does it get that view? What can we do to change it? “Sister Mary Explains It All” should be a wake-up call for Christians.