They manage to make an impossible story idea very watchable and enjoyable.
by Martin Hafer
Created Equal has a plot that simply could not happen. A nun wishes to go to a Catholic seminary in order, ultimately, to become a priest. However, the Catholic Church and the popes have been adamant….men, alone, can become priests. So, the woman approaches a law firm in order to sue the Church into accepting her to the seminary because she is being discriminated against by not being allowed in the program. While I could see someone wanting to sue for this right, finding a law firm or a court willing to try tackling the issue in the United States is problematic, as this clearly violates the notion of religious freedom. Lawmakers and judges simply do not nor could they create religious doctrine. However, the filmmakers who made Created Equal have also managed, somehow, to make the story interesting and compelling.
Sister Batista (Edy Ganem) is an unhappy nun. She is feeling unfulfilled in this role and feels that God has called her to be the first Catholic female priest. This seemingly unwinnable case is given to a hot-shot lawyer known for always setting cases without taking them to court. Tom Reilly (Aaron Tveit) plans on convincing the Sister to drop the case or accept a cash settlement. After all, he seems like a cynical guy who is much more interested in making partner at the law firm than actually doing anything else. However, something unusual happens…over time, Sister Batista wins him over and convinces him that they might just be able to win the case. Up against them is a lawyer and priest (Lou Diamond Phillips) as well as a psycho intent on stopping her at any price.
The acting and direction in this film was pretty good…and that made a seemingly ludicrous story actually work. I also liked the local color given to the story by filming it around New Orleans. My only quibble, other than the basic idea, is the big confrontation scene with the would-be killer…it didn’t quite work for me. But solid acting, tension and uniqueness make this an entertaining flick.
Martin's Grade: B-