A New York advertising executive who is about to land a big account, has his life shaken up when it becomes known that he has lied about having a college degree. After being fired, his life is further shaken by his debtors who had counted on paying after landing the account. Having to go on the run, he is called back to his southern town roots, when his great aunt dies. At the reading of the will, he learns he has been asked to assume the mantle of choir director of his great aunt's church and if he can get the choir in the Gospel Explosion in Atlanta, he will inherit stock worth $150,000. Unfortunately the choir leaves a lot to be desired and he has to start recruiting. Among others, he gets three prisoners to join. More importantly, he gets a "sinner" from one of the local night clubs to join. While initially scorned and resisted, nonetheless her voice wins everyone but the hardcore church busybody.Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Swing Low Sweet Chariot
Written by Wallis Willis
Arranged by Wayburn Dean and Keith Lancaster
Performed by Beyoncé
Produced by Loretha Jones and Beyoncé
Beyoncé performs courtesy of Columbia Records See more »
To my surprise, this was not a movie about the Temptations.
This is one of those cute "black" movies that makes white people wish they were black so they could have so much fun -- and I don't necessarily mean that in a cynical way. Others that come to mind are "The Preacher's Wife", "The Five Heartbeats"... I like movies like this, if only for relief from always seeing the same white actors on screen.
Of course, just like all Hollywood movies, it is total fantasy, and this one even more so seeing as it it was made by MTV (just check out the number of deleted music sequences on the DVD!).
And if you love gospel music (even some who don't), you will love this movie, despite the fact that it looks like the songs were written first and a script later to patch them all together, taking many shameless cues from "Sister Act" -- both One and Two.
The script is pretty lame in many parts -- mostly with Cuba Gooding's lines -- and the punch depends on the goings-on of mostly bit parts. LaTanya Richards as Paulina is extremely convincing as the self-righteous church treasurer, but there are no really strong protagonists (the only one around dies in the first fifteen minutes) so she pretty much controls the plot single- handedly.
The movie is all about cameos. Cameos, cameos cameos!! Even Shirley Caeser plays (who else?) herself ! ! They might as well have called Beyonce Beyonce and Cuba Cuba.
One other good thing I can say for the movie is the positive mixing of races it shows, among so many movies that tend to show mainly conflict among them. In my experience, the kind of mixing as shown in this movie is the real world, rather than the 99.9% black "Preacher's Wife", or for that matter 100% whiteness of so many movies. Sure, it may be fantasy (there is absolutely no racial tension present in this movie despite so much mingling), but I root for the positive image it projects.
If you are a cynic, this movie is not for you, but if you need some warm fuzzies, go for it!
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