Joyful Noise

"OK"

Joyful Noise Review


Life-affirming to the point of distraction, this comedy is so warm and cosy that it never even approaches believability. If only writer-director Graff had injected the film with half as much earthy energy as he puts into the terrific musical numbers. And let the cast out of the box.

At a down-home church in Pacashau, Georgia, GG (Parton) is peeved when she's not offered the job after her choir-director father (a brief Kris Kristofferson cameo) dies. The new leader is her rival Vi Rose (Latifah), who plans to win the upcoming regional competition with pure gospel. To further stir things up, GG's bad-boy grandson Randy (Jordan) is back in town, and he's smitten with Vi Rose's 16-year-old daughter Olivia (Palmer).

The film has a light, goofy tone, balancing the smiley comedy with an undercurrent of tetchy attitude. Vi Rose's piety is oppressive, leading of course to rebellion from Olivia and her wannabe-cool brother Walter (Darden), who has both Asberger's and, like everyone else, a killer voice. She also clashes with GG, who wants to give the choir a more competitive edge with pop tunes. Meanwhile, furtive romances among the singers play out in sometimes farcical ways that are simplistic but occasionally amusing.

Oddly, Graff tames both Latifah and Parton with the corny script and a soft-pedalled approach that seems contrived to appeal to religious audiences at the expense of anyone who knows what the real world is like. There are moments when we glimpse the actors' sassy personalities, but the grinding mechanisms of the half-hearted plot never let them burst into full-energy mode. And honestly, how do you cast Martin (as Vi Rose's estranged husband) in a musical and not let him sing?

Like Sister Act, the best thing about the film is the way it reinterprets pop songs as gospel choir numbers, including rousing renditions of Man in the Mirror, Maybe I'm Amazed and Signed, Sealed, Delivered. The competition sequences are big and fabulous, easily the film's best scenes because they not only allow the cast members to cut loose from the strains of the rather silly plot, but they explode with passion that makes the movie worth seeing.



Joyful Noise

Facts and Figures

Run time: 118 mins

In Theaters: Friday 13th January 2012

Box Office USA: $30.9M

Box Office Worldwide: 30

Budget: 25

Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production compaines: Alcon Entertainment, Warner Bros. Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 33%
Fresh: 40 Rotten: 80

IMDB: 5.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Joseph Farrell, , Andrew A Kosove, Michael G Nathanson, Catherine Paura

Starring: as Vi Rose Hill, as G.G. Sparrow, as Olivia Palmer, as Bernard Sparrow, Courtney B. Vance as Pastor Dale, as Randy Garrity

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

On the Road Movie Review

On the Road Movie Review

Wolf Alice fans are likely to be rather disappointed by this hybrid documentary-drama about the...

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Skilfully made by Swedish filmmaker Janus Metz (the award-winning Armadillo), this film is essentially a...

Advertisement
The Glass Castle Movie Review

The Glass Castle Movie Review

There are quite a few terrific moments in this true story, based on the memoir...

Home Again Movie Review

Home Again Movie Review

Reese Witherspoon is so likeable that she can carry even the most hackneyed of romantic...

Brimstone Movie Review

Brimstone Movie Review

An unnerving Western with a sharp female perspective, this film is a series of gruesome...

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Two years ago, Kingsman: The Secret Service seemed to come out of nowhere, ruffling feathers...

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

This biopic about Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne may look like the usual lushly...

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.