Story: Pamela (Ce Ce Peniston) has felt an emptiness in her life and even at forty years old, she is still waiting on her lifelong partner to walk into her life. She is convinced that Jesus will send her a godly man, keeping herself chaste all these years to honor her future husband. Although she is getting older, she refuses to compromise and is certain that an ordained partner is on the horizon. All of her faith seems to be have been well founded when she meets Jordan (Randy Brooks), who seems like he could be just the man that Pamela has been waiting on, which has her believing that her life is about to change in some major ways. Jordan seems to have all things Pamela is looking for in a man, but is her dream guy too good to be true?

Entertainment Value: Once you get past the unusual, though memorable title, Don’t Touch If You Ain’t Prayed is a straight forward religious romance picture. The religion element is hit hard and remains the focus of the narrative throughout, even if some threads seem off that path a little. The story is passable, but I don’t understand why Pamela would wait her entire life, then settle for a deadbeat, but perhaps looking past a myriad of red flags is part of the divine plan. In other words, despite the religious elements that push the plot here, there are mixed messages and even within the faith driven cinema fans, this one left many cold. Even once you accept the forgettable, inconsistent writing here, the movie just doesn’t entertain on any level. I suppose you could extract some unintentional humor or chuckle at the performances, but that isn’t enough to warrant a recommendation. I know religious cinema is held to a different standard amongst its fans, but Don’t Touch If You Ain’t Prayed is a lackluster, poorly crafted picture that doesn’t even seem to resonate with its intended audience. Unless you cherish bad performances and heavy handed religion, you can skip this one.

The performances would be the one reason I might suggest this movie, but even then, it would be a stretch to think about setting it up as a recommendation. The cast turns in some interesting efforts in Don’t Touch If You Ain’t Prayed, with some more wooden than a rainforest and others that seem to delight in going over the top. I think that sounds great in theory, especially on a site like this where we value unconventional performances, but there just isn’t enough to the craziness to make it worthwhile. Ce Ce Peniston has perhaps the best turn of the lot, but it is still a stilted, often deadpan performance. Peniston also little to no chemistry with her older love interest in the film, which keeps the romance in neutral. I think most of the cast tries to do well, but either lack of experience or just lack of acting chops cut those efforts short. I can see how some might get some laughs out of the performances, but for me, they just don’t add the level of unintentional humor I’d need to recommend this.

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