THE NEW YORKER LOWERS THE BAR
Catalyst September Issue 2009
The July 20 issue of The New Yorker featured an article by Paul Rudnick, “Fun with Nuns,” explaining how he initially developed the movie, “Sister Act.” It also showcased his hatred of nuns.
We asked why a supposedly highbrow publication like The New Yorker would lower the bar by publishing such trash. We also asked why Rudnick, a self-confessed “suburban New Jersey Jew,” would loathe nuns so much. We got a glimpse of what was really bothering Rudnick when he explained how “Sister Act” took form: “I was lying on my couch one afternoon in the late nineteen-eighties, trying to come up with an idea for a screenplay, and I began to think about drag.”
Ten years later, Rudnick gave us “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told.” At the time, Bill Donohue wrote that he had not seen the play, nor had any intention of doing so. But after reading the reviews he said, “It sounds like a routine homosexual play: full-frontal male nudity, filthy language, discussions of body parts, butch lesbians, effeminate gay men, ranting against nature, damning God for AIDS, etc.”
Now another ten years have passed, and nothing much has changed. Rudnick said in his article, and on the magazine’s podcast, that his goal in creating “Sister Act” was to “subvert the Catholic Church.” As only he can explain, “The script called for actresses of all shapes and ages, although the Disney executives still squabbled over which nuns should be ‘f***able.’”
None of this happened, of course, and that is because Rudnick walked out on Disney, handing his work over to someone else. But it’s the thought that counts.