We do not endorse cheating. Unless… of course we are talking about the events that should’ve transpired in the 1996 Christmas classic film The Preacher’s Wife.
The Penny Marshall-directed film about an angel sent from above to help a struggling pastor and his congregation starred Denzel Washington when he was at his peak fine and the forever beautiful, late Whitney Houston as Dudley and Julia, respectively. The Preacher’s Wife is a staple film in my house and many others during the holidays, in no small part because of the chemistry between Houston's and Washington’s characters. And while anyone who has watched the film has certainly thought it, I’m going to be the brave one to say it: Dudley and Julia should’ve ended up together.
Wait, wait, hear me out.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Girl, he was literally an angel!” And yes, while that’s true, and the prospect of him getting his wings clipped from even just looking at Julia for too long was very real, there is no reality in which the Lord sent down one of his heavenly agents that looks exactly like Denzel Washington and not expect for anyone to fall in love with him, let alone root for him instead of Julia’s husband Reverend Henry Biggs, which was played by the brilliant Courtney B. Vance.
Throughout the film, Henry gets so involved in church and his congregants' business that he neglects his martial duties. I know that being a man of God demands a lot, but Dudley, who is a literal angel, seemed to have had time to dedicate to both his Godly duties and making sure Julia was happy.
Dudley becomes increasingly more smitten with Julia as the two of them spend time together. He may have been sent down to help the pastor, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t help himself in the process.
And another thing...
It goes without saying that Julia definitely wanted Dudley as well. She knew it. Her mother knew it. Hell, even Henry knew it. You don’t just go to lunch, ice skating, and dancing at a club with a man and not fall the teensiest bit in love. Some people (me) would even go as far as to call those "dates."
Just as Julia told her mother when her mother confronted her about all the time she’s spent with Dudley: “I can look in the window, even if I don’t buy.” I would go even further and say that you can try something on in the dressing room even if you don’t take it home.
No woman should be expected to be okay with having her needs neglected for so long. She doesn’t have to leave her husband for Dudley necessarily, but nothing wakes an emotionally checked-out man more than a little cheating.
Dudley and Julia should’ve ended up together. Or at least did something more than a lingering side-of-the-mouth kiss. No one would’ve even remembered once Dudley left as Dudley explained to Henry. So this Christmas while watching this holiday classic, cut it off just as Dudley switches himself into Julia and Henry’s wedding photo because that’s the real ending of the film.
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Feature image by Fotos International/ Getty Images