CINEMA: TESTING THE FAITH

CAN THE PREACHER'S WIFE SHAKE UP HOLLYWOOD'S FIRM BELIEF THAT WHITES WON'T GO TO BLACK MOVIES?

In most ways The Preacher's Wife is as traditional a Christmas confection as fossilized fruitcake. It has a big budget, big stars and a heartwarming rendition of Joy to the World. The songs are sung by diva Whitney Houston, who plays the wife of a disillusioned minister. Her co-star, Denzel Washington, is a sexy angel who wants to save Houston's neighborhood church as well as her troubled marriage. On paper, the movie looks as if it has all the ingredients for a box-office slam dunk. But there's one thing missing: white people.

The executives who run Hollywood have long believed that...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!