Christian Comedian Chonda Pierce’s Movie ROLL WITH IT Promotes ‘The Power Of Prayer’
By Movieguide® Contributor
Comedian Chonda Pierce is finally taking center stage in her latest movie ROLL WITH IT.
Pierce is known as the “Queen of Clean Comedy,” and has made a name for herself in movies like ALL SAINTS and SELFIE DAD.
Her latest movie, the story of a widow working to stay afloat financially, is the first time Pierce has scored a leading role. In addition to that, the comedian has a very personal connection to ROLL WITH IT’s story.
“It’s kind of the last story idea my husband and I worked on before he passed,” Pierce shared. “It sat on my desk for a long, long time. I think I was in the middle of doing a Hallmark movie and one of the directors said, ‘Have you ever done a movie around your persona?’ And I said, ‘Well, as a matter of fact I have.’”
Pierce told him about the script, which follows a woman who must win a karaoke contest prize to save her home from falling into a sinkhole.
ROLL WITH IT’s production had its usual ups and downs, with studios passing on it, producers quitting, and COVID delays. However, it’s finally ready to hit theaters.
The movie is set to play in 700-800 theaters for a three day run.
“I pray that people will understand the power of prayer, and how God answers prayer in ways we don’t see Him coming,” Pierce said of her hope for the movie’s impact. “That’s what’s so sweet about this story. The widow, she goes into her prayer closet a lot. And she’s praying, and she’s getting desperate, and she’s getting hurt, because it doesn’t look like God’s coming through. And of course, He does it in a way that she totally didn’t see coming. It has very little to do with karaoke. It has everything to do with his plan. And I love that.”
Movieguide® previously reported on ROLL WITH IT and Pierce’s dedication to making family-friendly content:
Chonda Pierce may be the first one to laugh at her own jokes, but her chuckle is quickly echoed by other people watching her on tour or on screen.
“Even the clean comics, we have way of talking about our viewpoint of society. If the [comic] is a person of faith–or the person that just chooses to talk cleaner–we still have a valid explanation of society and our culture.”
You may recognize her from her documentaries UNASHAMED, LAUGHING IN THE DARK or ENOUGH. She’s also been in a handful of Christmas Hallmark movies, including CHRISTMAS LAND and the 12 WISHES OF CHRISTMAS.
Her jokes are relatable for both the church choir and people off the street. Pierce refuses to use course language in her routines, and that includes unsavory jokes, but that doesn’t mean she’s not making an impact on those within earshot.
“As a wife and mother and woman of faith, I’m going, ‘C’mon. Did you really have to fall into the trap of thinking I gotta be edgy and dirty to keep an audience?’” Pierce tells Movieguide®.
“There’s a huge, wide, vast audience that is longing for good, entertaining TV and movies [without trashy remarks], and that’s just me on my soapbox,” she said.
Pierce’s philosophy confuses some people in mainstream audiences. Years ago, the comic appeared on THE VIEW opposite Whoopi Goldberg.
“She couldn’t fathom that someone like me was so successful and doesn’t cuss,” Pierce said. “People are genuinely surprised, but it doesn’t surprise me to run across someone whose entertaining and clean because I grew up in church culture.”
Pierce continued, “It does still amaze me that occasionally mainstream media will be very surprised when something good or clean or wholesome does so well.”
In the spirit of clean comedy, Pierce just wrapped the feature movie, LAUGH LOVE KARAOKE.
“On the personal nature, it’s always been on my bucket list to star in a major motion picture,” Pierce said. “I’m well into my 60s so that usually doesn’t happen, unless you’re Betty White.”
LAUGH LOVE KARAOKE was directed by Chris Dowling (RUN THE RACE, PRICELESS, WHERE HOPE GROWS), and also stars McKaley Miller (MA), Judith Hoag (“Nashville,” “Big Love”), Carl McDowell (“Ballers”), Evan Hofer (RUN THE RACE) and comedian Mark Christopher Lawrence (“Chuck,” THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS), with a screenplay by Dowling.
“It was a labor of love and a lot of fun,” Pierce said. “It’s not a FIREPROOF or I CAN ONLY IMAGINE. It’s funny, but it’s got some edginess to it, which is very much like a Chonda Pierce concert.”
She continued, “My life has been filled with ups and downs. That’s a lot of what LOVE LAUGH KARAOKE is about. One moment, you’re laughing, and one moment you’re crying, and that is what life is. Jesus says, ‘I come to give you life more abundantly,’ and that means all of life.”
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