The syncretic elements that encapsulate the vivacity of rhythm and vocals are precisely what makes ‘Praise This’ an astounding revelation. Directed by Tina Gordon, the musical comedy film follows the life of a young musical artist, Sam, who finds her niche in an unlikely group. The story features Sam, who is forced to leave Los Angeles by her dad on account of her rebellious behavior. When her care is entrusted to her aunt and uncle in Atlanta, she finds little recluse in the care of adults. Instead, the one who wholly takes up charge of Sam in Atlanta is her cousin Jess.
While the two women navigate through challenges, dreams, and music, the movie continues to establish the threshold for unique friendships and camaraderie. Exemplifying the troubles of young women and the struggles through which they find their talent and excellence, ‘Praise This’ is a coming-of-age story wrapped in a whimsical musical. The movie features an ensemble that plans to compete in a youth musical national championship and encompasses equal amounts of comedy and caprice.
Headlined by musical artist Chloe Bailey and Anjelika Washington, the ensemble cast also features Quavo, Druski, Koryn Hawthorne and Tristan Mack Wilds. The movie’s premise follows young women finding their footing in an otherwise cold world with few opportunities. As such, it leaves viewers wondering whether the story of Sam and Jess is based on true events. Luckily, we’ve got all the answers you are looking for.
Is Praise This a True Story?
No, ‘Praise This’ is not based on a true story. Director and writer Tina Gordon was first involved in the story after producer Tim Story proposed an original idea. Later, Camilla Blackett, Jana Savage, Brandon Broussard, and Hudson Obayuwana collectively wrote a script that director Tina Gordon later worked on and directed. When her bubbly and full-of-life cousin Jess introduces Sam to the youth choir group at her church, the disdain is palpable. However, it isn’t long before the story follows Sam is warped into the scene.
While Sam is initially reluctant to join the church-going choir group on account of their pretentious beliefs and ideals, she later realizes that her way to a successful music career would be carved through them only. As such, the movie focuses on the journey of young people who jump through different hoops and hurdles, sweat away in practice, and struggle with cliques and power roles, to find their space and make a name. Naturally, viewers are drawn to the comedic struggle of the two sisters and find their traits similar to that of actual musical stars.
With several musical numbers that set the rhythm of the movie, the jostling nature of the ensemble and the quirky mannerisms add another element to the musical, making viewers wonder about the roots of the story. Not just this, the movie also carries references to the usage of weed and focuses on inclusivity, and instead of using the church and God as themes of righteousness and morality, the movie focuses on sins like hypocrisy and doesn’t abide its characters to any standards.
The premise naturally leads viewers to wonder whether the characters that teeter on the edge of gratitude and earnest hardwork are, thus, based on real-life people. Even with the allure of harmony, and comedic timings of the cast, the story remains a work of fiction. Several sequences in the movie showcase the drama and essence of any average young group. From throwing shade at one another and engaging in harmless banter, the movie gives its characters room to flow and represent the narrative in an eclectic setting.
Director Tina Gordon doesn’t just create an epic storyline for viewers to follow but also manages to turn famous songs into the words of the gospel. As the movie culminates with the group making their way to the national music championship, it sees the characters evolving into unlikely friendships and an exuberant allure. So, even though the movie may emanate the lived experiences of people, it is not based on a true story.
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