Every year thousands of movies are released, and a small percentage are movies that everyone can enjoy. Growing up in a religious household as a Pastor’s Kid (PK) there weren’t many movies on the preapproved list.
This movie is everything we didn’t know we even needed.
If I had to rate this movie on a scale of 1 to 10, “Praise This” hits the mark every time.
Within the first 5 minutes of the movie, I was excited, engaged by the energy of the cast and being able to instantly resonate as a former praise team member.
The movie begins by introducing you to several different praise teams, from all walks of life. While focusing on the Praise team led by Birgundi Baker and the other by Koryn Hawthorne.
As a Christian, being able to watch some of my favorite influencers, actors, and actresses from the circular and Christian world come together with one main goal was priceless.
This film features Chloe Bailey, Druski, Anjelika Washington, Quavo, Tristan Mack Wilds, Birgundi Baker, Crystal Hayslett, Loren Lott, Jekalyn Carr, and Koryn Hawthorne.
The movie also teaches several lessons throughout the film starting with introducing Pastor PG (Tristan Mack Wilds) who looks nothing like your average traditional preacher. His appearance, and walk remind us that we are quick to judge when we aren’t the ones called to judge.
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. – Luke 6:37 NIV
Despite his looks, and outer appearance he quickly reminds us of the calling on his life and that it is by God’s grace that he is in the position he is in. (AMEN)
Another highlight was being able to see one of my favorite Gospel artists Jekalyn Carr and Koryn Hawthorne in a new light introducing the world to acting. Seeing both of them not only share their vocal ability but stage presence as an actress was refreshing.
My takeaway: This movie would be a great addition to any youth church’s movie lineup. Several lessons and takeaways were given throughout the movie as a whole.
Watching Sam (Chloe Bailey) in this role as a young girl who recently loses her mother, which causes a lot of hurt and resentment to those around her has started to act out while trying to pursue a career in music. During this time she has taken a gap year from school, been arrested, sneaked away from home, and more. Her dad decides that enough is enough and she needs a change of scenery. He takes her from the Big City of LA to the big city of ATL, where she stays with her mother’s brother and his family. This is where the one who will change her view on life is introduced as her cousin Jess (Anjelika Washington).
Jess and her family are heavy churchgoers and Jess even has other musical abilities which she shares as a member of her church’s local praise team. The church they attend is every young person’s dream: Edgy, Modern, and laid back. The Pastor is young with experience in the world and willing to meet the members exactly where they are.
You can tell immediately that this church exemplifies the old saying “Come as you are”. If you look at the church scene carefully, you are able to view people from all different walks of life around the building. You quickly notice that there is a place for you.
I believe both cousins are around the same age, Sam is one who wants to be left alone to deal with what life throws at her all alone. It is apparent that she is afraid of losing something or someone else in the process.
Jess is someone who desires the approval and attention of others. You can tell from the minute you meet her that she just wants to make those around her happy. While sam on the hand has hopes to make it in the music industry and she is willing to do anything to achieve this goal, which in the long run can hurt the people around her.
This film provided everything I look for in a film, from comedy to drama to family life values this film provided something for everyone.
Everyone loves a happily ever after, and they understood the assignment, during the film Sam had been closed off from her father because she was upset he brought her to Atlanta. Throughout the entire film, she ignored calls, messages, etc. I loved that in the end the film revisited their dynamic and showed her father attending the last competition and telling her that he is proud of her.
Often times we don’t appreciate our parents when they try to tell us things about the decisions we are making. The film showed the picture of a father trying to raise a daughter the best way he knew how by trying to protect her from herself and the people around her. As hard as it was he was willing to move her across the country, away from him and the world she knew just to give her a solid foundation.
In the long run, the move was exactly what she didn’t know she needed. The home provided a safe space, an environment with stability, and a religious environment that will carry her through life’s struggles.
I believe many people around the world can identify with Sam, I for one was Sam. Mad at those around me who wanted and knew what was best for me but couldn’t see past what I desired for myself. This movie shows exactly what can happen when you let go and allow others to help you, you can discover a gift you never knew you possessed.