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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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Martha: Martha, Mary and their brother Lazarus were evidently close friends of Jesus. He came to their home simply as a welcomed guest, rather than as one celebrating the conversion of a sinner like Zacchaeus or one unceremoniously received by a suspicious Pharisee. The sisters feel free to call on Jesus at their brother’s death, even though a return to Judea at that time seems almost certain death. 
<p>No doubt Martha was an active sort of person. On one occasion (see Luke 10:38-42) she prepares the meal for Jesus and possibly his fellow guests and forthrightly states the obvious: All hands should pitch in to help with the dinner. </p><p>Yet, as biblical scholar Father John McKenzie points out, she need not be rated as an “unrecollected activist.” The evangelist is emphasizing what our Lord said on several occasions about the primacy of the spiritual: “...[D]o not worry about your life, what you will eat [or drink], or about your body, what you will wear…. But seek first the kingdom [of God] and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:25b, 33a); “One does not live by bread alone” (Luke 4:4b); “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness…” (Matthew 5:6a). </p><p>Martha’s great glory is her simple and strong statement of faith in Jesus after her brother’s death. “Jesus told her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world’” (John 11:25-27).</p> American Catholic Blog Anger and inconsistency feed each other. Anger in a parent can lead to erratic discipline, and erratic discipline promotes anger and frustration. Good parents work hard to discipline with a level head. The best parents though, even after many years or many kids, are still working on the level-headed part.

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