In Praise This, Sam, an aspiring musician, shifts to Atlanta, to her uncle and aunt’s, where she joins a praise team choir and uses her musical talent to help them win the national competition. The movie is now streaming on Peacock.
Since losing her mother, Sam has struggled to get along with her father. Therefore, her father makes the difficult decision of sending Sam to her Uncle Larry and Aunt Liz in Atlanta, where she may find what she is looking for.
Sam’s cousin and Larry and Liz’s daughter, Jess, makes sure that Sam has the best time of her life in Atlanta. Jess has always missed having a sister, and she feels Sam could fill that gap.
Jess oversteps a bit and learns a lot about Sam, who is a singer who likes to write her own songs. Jess then introduces Sam to the city and the praise team choir she is a part of called the Oil Factory.
The Oil Factory is trying to redeem itself ever since putting on an embarrassing performance at a praise team competition last year. They aim to work together and win the National Praise Competition this year.
When Sam and Jess lie to Larry and Liz and attend a popular musician’s party, they punish Sam by having her join Jess’ praise team choir.
After spending time in the Oil Factory, Sam finds out about the talent she carries for turning any song into gospel. As she vows to take the team to the top, she faces many obstacles and doubts her own talent throughout the journey to the nationals.
Chloe Bailey as Sam plays a rebellious teenager from LA who dreams of becoming a big-time musician. Initially, Bailey portrays Sam as a completely non-likable teenager who may not care about others. She flips this whole thing around when she gets comfortable with Anjelika Washington’s Jess.
Washington’s Jess is another character that seems intolerable at first. The more you get to know her, the more you realize how loving and adorable she is. Washington further channels the right energy into Jess, which doesn’t make her look overdramatic.
While Bailey is often taking the lead, her chemistry with Washington is something to look forward to and so is theirs with their teammates at the Oil Factory.
Praise This places its heart in the right place by not trying to do something different or challenging its own beliefs. The message is simple: believe in God and yourself. This message appears in almost all the songs featured in the film.
As a musical, Praise This makes sure to have a soundtrack that the viewers can vibe to. Each and every song is quite melodious, the choruses are catchy, and the improvisations portrayed carry the much-needed beat to have everyone dance.
The movie gives each supporting character some time to shine. There are many minor characters appearing and commenting during the competitions. Each one of them has a personality to portray, and they all have their bits and pieces that are hilarious and sometimes heartwarming.
For example, the way Big Love flirts his way around makes him quite mysterious, and a viewer is left wondering what his deal is.
Overall, the narrative around Bailey’s character, Sam, is done and dusted. She is the same old protagonist who is special and the only one who can take her team to greater heights.
The movie further shies away from diving deep into the past or the condition of certain relationships. The film doesn’t share why Sam doesn’t get along with her father properly, and somehow, she accepts him in the end, which is absurd.
Praise This comes with a formulaic narrative, and not every joke in the film always lands. You can still watch and enjoy the film because of the charming performances of the lead cast and the different and unique blend of characters portrayed.
Director: Tina Gordon
Date Created: 2023-04-07 12:30