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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

Joyful Noise

By
Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.
Source: AmericanCatholic.org

Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton play two church singers at odds with each other over who should lead the choir when the director, played by Kris Kristofferson, passes away. When the pastor, played by Courtney B. Vance, chooses Queen Latifa’s character Vi Rose instead of Dolly Parton’s GiGi, Christian charity becomes strained.
 
The story takes place in a small Georgia town that is economically stressed, but church members love to sing. Vi Rose, who is mom to Olivia (KiKi Palmer), talks to everyone in clichés, until she finally lets loose in a sermon to her daughter about maturity and responsibility. We discover that her husband Marcus (Jesse L. Martin) left the family to reenlist in the army because this was the only way he could support them.
 
To complicate matters further the choir’s finances are in bad shape and when they lose in a regional competition the pastor tells them they cannot continue. Then Randy (Jeremy Jordan), GiGi’s somewhat wayward grandson, shows up, and develops a crush on Olivia.
 
“Joyful Noise” is not a great film, but it is high energy and very entertaining.  It’s not especially good on moral theology either (one of the lady choir members sleeps with another one and when he dies during the night, she wonders if it is God’s punishment; the pastor assures her it isn’t but he is not particularly concerned that sex outside of marriage falls outside of Christian behavior.)
 
The plot is contrived to be a Christian version of “Glee”, or a throw back to the old “Our Gang” TV shows when a variety show or a concert would save the day.  If it weren’t for Queen Latifa and Dolly Parton, “Joyful Noise” wouldn’t work. KiKi Palmer and Jeremy Jordan have a nice chemistry.
 
The best part of the film for me was the hilarious catfight that Vi Rose and GiGI have in the local restaurant. The ending is quite moving; I had to get my Kleenex but I cannot tell you why or I will spoil it for you.


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Elizabeth of Portugal: Elizabeth is usually depicted in royal garb with a dove or an olive branch. At her birth in 1271, her father, Pedro III, future king of Aragon, was reconciled with his father, James, the reigning monarch. This proved to be a portent of things to come. Under the healthful influences surrounding her early years, she quickly learned self-discipline and acquired a taste for spirituality. Thus fortunately prepared, she was able to meet the challenge when, at the age of 12, she was given in marriage to Denis, king of Portugal. She was able to establish for herself a pattern of life conducive to growth in God’s love, not merely through her exercises of piety, including daily Mass, but also through her exercise of charity, by which she was able to befriend and help pilgrims, strangers, the sick, the poor—in a word, all those whose need came to her notice. At the same time she remained devoted to her husband, whose infidelity to her was a scandal to the kingdom. 
<p>He, too, was the object of many of her peace endeavors. She long sought peace for him with God, and was finally rewarded when he gave up his life of sin. She repeatedly sought and effected peace between the king and their rebellious son, Alfonso, who thought that he was passed over to favor the king’s illegitimate children. She acted as peacemaker in the struggle between Ferdinand, king of Aragon, and his cousin James, who claimed the crown. And finally from Coimbra, where she had retired as a Franciscan tertiary to the monastery of the Poor Clares after the death of her husband, she set out and was able to bring about a lasting peace between her son Alfonso, now king of Portugal, and his son-in-law, the king of Castile.</p> American Catholic Blog In the name of the Father, use my mind to bring you honor, and of the Son, fill my heart to spread your word, and of the Holy Spirit, strengthen me to carry you out to all the world. Amen.

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