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Raised in a Trappist monastery, the innocent Brother Ambrose sets out to find money to save the bankrupt monastery. His education in worldliness is provided by a hooker. He eventually petitions G.O.D. for the cash. Written by
Religious types hate this movie and have tried to bury it with poor ratings. (Unfortunately, they've largely succeeded.) An example is the Blockbuster 1996 Movie Guide, which gives it one star (out of five) while, for example, giving the over-the-top, outrageously homo-erotic religious pic Ben Hur four-and-a-half stars.
Despite all the religious disinformation, this is a very well written, funny film. Marty Feldman is very good as Brother Ambrose, a painfully innocent monk cast into the devil's playground of L.A.; Peter Boyle is likewise good as Rev. Melmouth, a low-budget Jerry Falwell who takes advantage of Ambrose; and Louise Lasser does her best work since "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" as the heart-of-gold hooker who saves Ambrose from his religiously induced misery (to Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus").
In the end, the film does wuss out somewhat (no details -- I don't want to spoil it) -- it is a Hollywood film after all -- but it's still a stinging indictment of religious arrogance and hypocrisy.
If you're smart enough to resent the intrusive, authoritarian religious nuts who want to control your life (and everyone else's), you'll probably enjoy this film.
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