PREACHING TO THE CHOIR
An Endearing Sermon
Release Date: April 14, 2006
Starring: Darien Sills-Evans, Tim Reid,
Rosa Arredondo, Billöah
Greene, Tichina Arnold,
Novella Nelson, Eartha Kitt,
and Patti LaBelle
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 105 minutes
Distributor: CodeBlack Entertainment
Director: Charles Randolph-Wright
Executive Producer: None
Producer: Richard Perello
Writer: Kevin Heffernan
Address Comments To:Jeff Clanagan
15260 Ventura Blvd. Suite 840
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
Phone: (818) 325-8940
Fax: (818) 325-8946
Following the early death of their parents, Teshawn and Wesley are transported from North Carolina to New York by their Aunt June, who brings the young boys to Harlem Baptist Church as often as possible. Despite being twins, the brothers couldn't be more different. Teshawn is musically gifted but cocky and defiant, while Wesley is meek, reverent and self-righteous.
Years later, Teshawn (Billöah Greene) becomes a rising hip-hop superstar living the gangster rapper lifestyle in Los Angeles, but is forced to flee when his thuggish record producer Bull Sharky (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) threatens to end not only his career but his life. These circumstances force him to head back to Harlem after a multiyear hiatus. While hiding from Sharky and his goons in his old neighborhood, Teshawn is forced to face the personal demons lurking in his past, including his relationship with Wesley (Darien Sills-Evans), who has become a minister.
PREACHING TO THE CHOIR is not a great movie, but it is a good movie with many redeeming qualities. Like O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU, the comedy puts an emphasis on music, which is one of its best attributes. The movie opens with gospel praise music, and the tunes keep flowing until the ending credits.
In addition to Teshawn, his Harlem family members also have complicated flaws to deal with. Wesley struggles with being uptight, and seems to resent his brother's talent and fame as much as his obnoxious manners. Aunt June (Novella Nelson) refuses to sing in the church choir because a man broke her heart years before. As they deal with their inner conflicts, however, they are surrounded by a quirky but caring church family consistently praising Jesus, which ultimately makes the difference.
It's unfortunate the makers of the movie didn't keep it a bit cleaner. Neither the jokes with sexual references nor the excessive foul language contribute to the story, and could have easily been avoided. These content issues make it inappropriate for children, although it is probably suitable for teenagers with proper guidance.
Ultimately, however, PREACHING TO THE CHOIR delivers an endearing sermon about the joys of worship, family and Christian community.
This is a good movie with many redeeming qualities. It opens with wonderful gospel praise music, and the tunes keep flowing until the ending credits. As the brothers deal with their personal tension, they are surrounded by a caring church family consistently praising Jesus, which ultimately makes the difference. With a strong Christian worldview, the movie delivers an endearing sermon about the joys of worship, family and Christian community, but foul language and sexual jokes unfortunately make it inappropriate for children.