Friday, October 26, 2012

Joyful Noise (2012)

During the performance of a church choir from a small town, the choir director, Bernard Sparrow (Kris Kristofferson) suffers a sudden heart attack. Bernard dies shortly after the performance. Pastor Dale (Courtney B. Vance) chooses Vi Rose Hill (Queen Latifah) as the new choir director, and this doesn’t sit well with Bernard’s widow, G.G. Sparrow (Dolly Parton). G.G. desperately wants the honor of becoming choir director, but Pastor Dale doesn’t approve of her hip and cool style. G.G. and Vi don’t get along at all, but they’ll have to put their differences aside. The “Joyful Noise” gospel choir competition is in full swing., and another loss could cause a lot of trouble for the town choir. The future of the choir is in serious jeopardy, and Pastor Dale will pull the plug, if the choir suffers another loss in the big competition. Entering the competition costs money, and the small town choir has built up a noticeable losing streak. Pastor Dale has lost faith in them, and constantly spending money on a losing effort is starting to hurt the church. G.G. and Vi must work together and put aside their differences, if they want to win the competition and save the choir‘s chances to compete in the future.

I couldn’t get into this at all. I really tried, but I quickly began to lose interest in this film. Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah did share some good chemistry, and their bitter rivalry throughout this film was very believable. Also, the musical performances are enjoyable, especially towards the end, but I just can’t give this film a positive score.

Keke Palmer (Olivia Hill) has always showed some promise as one of Hollywood’s young actresses, but she was very disappointing in this film. Her performance felt so contrived, and she just went through the motions the entire time. I’ll give Queen Latifah the credit she deserves here, because she did deliver a very dedicated and convincing performance in this film. Latifah was very believable as the strict and overbearing mother, and most of the time, she carried this film on her back. Dolly Parton was okay at best, but her rivalry with Latifah helped make her presence tolerable, because her acting didn’t help elevate this film in any way.

Queen Latifah and the musical performances are the only few highlights of this film, unfortunately. Overall, the acting is VERY mediocre, and the story is so dull. Joyful Noise is a very bland and predictable film, and this one painfully goes through the motions the entire time. The emotional moments do feel overwhelmingly cheesy. The sentimental and touching moments feel so forced, and I couldn’t buy into any of the “heartwarming” scenes in this film. Joyful Noise could’ve worked as a respectable feel-good family friendly film, but they really dropped the ball with this one.

Joyful Noise should’ve debuted on the Lifetime or Hallmark channel, VH1, or ABC Family (yeah, it’s not even worthy of the main network), because this film didn’t deserve a run in theaters at all.

Also, Dolly Parton needs to lay off the plastic surgery. Parton’s character mocks her real life cosmetic surgeries. "Who cares if I've had a few nips and tucks? God didn't make plastic surgeons so they could starve!." She actually said this during an argument with the Vi Rose character, and I couldn’t laugh. Parton’s attempt to make fun of her plastic surgeries just brought this “Wow. You can’t be serious.” reaction out of me. Parton looks like a mangled wax figure. Her tits didn’t help take the focus off of her face, and they couldn’t cause the much needed distraction for me. Please lay off the surgeries, Dolly, because the constant procedures really aren’t helping anymore.

Final Rating: 2/10

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