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Review: Chloe Bailey Is Pitch Perfect In Will Packer’s “Praise This”



Will Packer’s new Peacock comedy “Praise This” is not your average faith-based film.

While set in a contemporary Atlanta-based church, it’s not preachy or churchy. In fact, according to Packer you don’t have to know any Bible verses or scriptures to enjoy it.

“You don’t have to be super churchy. You don’t have to know one verse in the Bible. I don’t know if Druski knows a single verse in the Bible,” he joked about the social media star who plays a member of the youth praise team. “I’m not sure if I handed him a Bible right now that he would know what it was. I’d have to send him the Bible app.”

In 2005, Packer released The Gospel, a traditional inspirational drama starring Boris Kodjoe as a pastor who falls down but gets back up. With “Praise This” there’s a lot more singing and a lot less sanctified soul searching. (Think ‘Pitch Perfect’ in the church).

“It’s not just a faith based movie. It’s also a competition movie,” said Packer. “It reminds me a little bit of “Stomp The Yard” and “The Gospel.” Both movies I’m very proud of. And then of course, you look at like a “Pitch Perfect” or “The Fighting Temptations” that have been down this road before.”

In the film, Chloe Bailey plays Sam, an aspiring singer, whose sent to live with her family in Atlanta after her mother passes. She joins her cousin’s struggling praise team as an opportunity to finally make her dreams come true, only to learn that her faith is her true key to fame.

Director Tina Gordon says Bailey was perfect for the lead role of Sam.

“Her voice can hold up to anybody. Especially to voices that I planned on using in the gospel space. And so it was her voice. It was also just her public, her position in the culture, and who she is privately.”

“It was right when the pandemic hit, when I sent in my self tape for Sam,” explained Bailey. “It felt like my life. I was like, wow. God, music, acting, all my favorite things. So I was happy that I was able to be a part of this project with such incredible people.”

For the film, Gordon also enlisted gospel stars Jekalyn Carr and Koryn Hawthorne, plus music supervisor Harvey Mason Jr,  to help blends pop hits with gospel classics.

The result? A feel good film that’s worthy of all the praise.

Praise This also starring Angelika Washington, Quavo, Tristan Mack Wild, Cocoa Brown and more  releases exclusively on Peacock April 7.

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