Movie Review:Praise This

I am back with another movie review. Even though it is the holy month of Ramadan, I can not resist a good movie, especially if I can sense a sing-along. That includes Gospel/Church movies, so let’s get into Praise This!

Praise This is a modern twist to great classics such as Sister Act and Joyful Noise, with elements from other great films, like Pitch Perfect. It is a heartwarming movie with great music and original songs. While watching the movie, I noticed details from other films that made the movie feel like a blast from the past.

Praise This follows Sam (Chloe Bailey), an inspiring music artist forced to move to Atlanta to live with her aunt and uncle. At the same time, her cousin Jess (Anjelika Washington) shows her around and introduces Sam to her church and gospel group.

Like most Christian base movies, the end goal is to express that we are all sinners but always welcomed in church, come as you are type message. As a Muslim watching the movie, I did learn something new about church culture and wasn’t completely lost. Still, the mosque and church have significant cultural differences. But I digress; I found a few parts of the film unsettling.

Without giving away any spoilers, I feel like the film missed two great opportunities to change the narrative regarding the portrayal of Black stories. I would have loved to see a more vital message of teaching young girls to stop over-sexualizing themselves and that we have way more to offer the world than what is between our legs and physical appearance. Especially for young black girls where society already over-sexualizes us! Sam’s talent speaks for itself in the film! And that was never made clear.

Chloe Bailey as Sam in Praise This, directed by Tina Gordon.

Also, I’m tired of seeing the strained black father-daughter relationships! I want to see black daddy girls have a strong positive black father in their life! That’s it. Find another way to add drama.

Overall, the movie was okay. It’s a nice watch, but there’s room for improvement.

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