The Music Lifted “Joyful Noise” Higher Than the Storyline

    Ladies, I watched Joyful Noise the other night. It’s a faith-filled movie, and for the most part, I did enjoy it.

    There were some instances, however, that I found concerning. While the relationship between the teens Olivia (Keke Palmer) and Randy (Jeremy Jordan) seemed innocent enough, there were situations that were too sexual for my liking. And I didn’t like how they both disrespected Olivia’s mother, Vi Rose. There also were other elements in the movie that I felt sent mixed messages regarding immodesty. But I did love the music!

    Joyful Noise stars both Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah, and naturally their characters clash–at one point they have a hilarious food fight scene. But what they both do well is sing. And with their veteran voices, partnered with the fresh sounds of Palmer and Jordan, the music in this movie was fantastic!

    Two songs in particular lifted my spirits. The others were great too, but these songs made me wish I could sing! So I thought I’d spread the joy and share them with you.

    SPOILER ALERT: These two clips are from the end of the movie. If you’re planning on watching it, you may not want to see them. They don’t give away the story, but they do reveal how the movie ends.

    The first song is “That’s the Way God Planned It,” performed by Ivan Kelley.

    The next song is the “Higher” medley. Before you watch it, let me explain that it begins with the choir singing their intended song, “Not Enough,” but when Vi Rose (Latifah) sees that the audience is not responding enthusiastically, she switches to the medley. I hope you enjoy it!

    What I loved most about the songs in this movie (and specifically the medley above) is that songs by artists like Usher and Chris Brown were used, but with Christian lyrics. And that just goes to show that Christian music can be hip and cool and still glorify God.

    Despite some of the concerning elements in the movie, Joyful Noise received 5 Doves and a recommendation for ages 12 and older from the Dove Foundation. If you’re unfamiliar with the Dove Foundation, it’s a great resource for movie reviews–they base their ratings on what they consider family-friendly movies.

    Ladies, which Christian movie do you feel has both a great moral storyline and uplifting soundtrack?

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    T.M. Gaouette
    T.M. Gaouette is a freelance writer, ghostwriter, blogger and fiction novelist. She was born in Africa, brought up in London and is now living in New England with her husband and four children. Devoted to Him, Gaouette is dedicated to glorifying God through her stories for teens and young adults. T.M. Gaouette is the author of "The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch" and "Freeing Tanner Rose," Christian novels for teens and young adults. She's currently working on completing her upcoming novel -visit for more on her Christian fiction work. Connect with her on and .


        • I just feel that the Christian film industry sacrifices quality for so-called “Christian values.”

        • Hey Eurydice, look up Nanalew on youtube. She is starting a film company and she is a christian. I think she has quality and still glorifies God.

      • Skeptical. Highly skeptical. The closest I get to “Christian film” is LoTR. They’re good films based on amazing literature with Christian allegory. I don’t watch it because it’s Christian; I watch it because it’s good. That’s why I actively oppose the Christian film/music/lit genres. Don’t consume certain entertainment because it’s Christian; enjoy it because it’s well-made.

        • Well, I for one have seen many Christian movies that were VERY well made. I think you’re just viewing them as bad quality BECAUSE they’re Christian. Look at stuff from God’s point of view, not the world’s. Have you ever seen Courageous or OctoberBaby? Those movies were both not only touching, but also really funny at times and I think the quality was great!

        • The reason most people make those movies is to glorify God. You’re being honest, and not fake, and that’s good. But I think you forget what this life is really about. It’s not about entertainment or how good the movie is: it’s about the heart.

        • I hadn’t even heard of those films until recently, and I will not be watching them on principle. I’m viewing Christian films as bad quality because I’ve seen Christian films and they were all bad quality. Facing the Giants is my primary example. My youth group and I couldn’t stop mocking it, the cinematography was so bad…

          It’s nice that these people make films to glorify God, but I watch movies for aesthetics and entertainment. It’s about art. Secular films typically have a better budget, better actors, better writers, and better story. That’s just my opinion.

        • I agree with you, but I think it really depends on the movie. “Joyful Noise” is not really a ‘Christian’ movie in the way you are thinking. Many of the actors are not Christians and I don’t think it was produced by a Christian film company.

        • That was the second movie that church made. Their movies progressively get better. Fireproof was a great movie and Courageous was amazing! And not to forget the Passion of the Christ. Tht movie had some of the greatest and most real aesthetics and stuff it was made amazingly. As for music Chris Tomlin, Casting Crowns, Toby Mac, and Matthew West are amazing just to name a few. There music is great, well made an has a positive message.

        • I read Patrol, a progressive Christian magazine, and I trust their reviews. I read all I want to know about Fireproof, Courageous, and October Baby. Not even remotely interested. And I will not be watching Passion of the Christ because I think it’s an insult to Christ’s suffering. That’s just a personal conviction of mine. Besides, Mel Gibson is a nutter. :p

        • I don’t listen to Christian music either. My mother absolutely loves Casting Crowns and Mercy Me and stuff like that. I can’t stand it. It’s just not to my taste.

        • The problem, I think, in your view point, is A: All Christian is BAD when it comes to production and cinematography, and music quality, whatever. B: There are no separate categories that you deemed worthy of even considering. It’s just one big lump, and because it’s Christian, it’s not good quality?

          I find this highly offensive. You, Eurydice, are being very closed minded about this whole thing, and it’s, frankly, unfair, and annoying. There are many, many, many different Christian artists and styles. Some, like Switchfoot, Red, and Thousand Foot Crutch, are much more, I dunno, hard-core than say, MercyMe (which, in my opinion, are very talented artists,) Casting Crowns, and David Crowder, but here’s the thing; They all serve one and the same God. And THAT’S what’s important. Sure, there can be some, well, not so great, Christian music, but that’s just a matter of opinion. But, there is SO much more trashy music in the secular sense than there is in the Christian genre, (also a matter of opinion). As for movies, as long as Christian movies glorify God, and not man, then any Christian would be happy to watch it, no matter the quality, and we stand with those who try to make it happen, because it’s for GOD, and trying to reach the lost, and THAT’S what’s important.

          Okay, I’m done ranting… I think.

        • “As for movies, as long as Christian movies glorify God, and not man, then any Christian would be happy to watch it, no matter the quality, and we stand with those who try to make it happen, because it’s for GOD, and trying to reach the lost, and THAT’S what’s important.”

          Now THAT is offensive. I don’t appreciate implications that I’m not a Christian just because I don’t support Christian cinema.

        • You’re right. I’m sorry. I got defensive, is all, and I have a bad temper. Truce? Shall we agree to disagree?

    1. I didn’t like this movie. The music wasn’t the best, in my opinion, and it didn’t seem to focus on God, even though it was labeled a ‘Christian’ movie. Also, there were a lot of unnecessary elements thrown in there with the romantic interests, and they portrayed the more ‘godly’ people as being the bad guys.
      But that’s just my opinion…

    2. Not a very flattering pic up top, either…I mean, it’s like, “Why hello, Dolly’s breasts. How are you today?” Everyone else has formless robes except her. Odd, no? And the expression on that guy in the middle is so vacant…

        • I don’t really care. She creeps me out; my parents dragged me to her theme park in Tennessee, and she made an appearance…dressed in a very form-fitting white tiger costume. It was freakish.

    3. I LOVED “Joyful Noise.” I didn’t think it was at all innappropriate, and while I may not act the way Olivia did, I don’t think it was inappropriate. Also, I don’t really think Olivia’s mom was disrespected, but the movie did a fantastic job at showing Vi Rose in Olivia’s point of view, and I had great respect for Vi by the end of the movie.

    4. I saw the movie and I thought it would be a lot more innocent also and there was a lot of cussing which threw me off guard. I was so happy though when they took all the music in the movie and made them have a Christian focus.

    5. If this is not a completely clean movie, when people say it’s Christian, & non-Christians watch it and see and hear cussing and sex before marriage, they’ll think that’s part of Christianity. And it’s not.

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