Movie Diva Review: 'Joyful Noise'
OKLAHOMA CITY - I love all the elements in "Joyful Noise": Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton, gospel music.
Unfortunately, I did not love this movie.
Queen Latifah (from now on referred to as QL) and Parton play Vi Rose Hill and G.G. Sparrow, two members of a church choir in a small Georgia town. When the beloved choir director dies, the church council decides to give QL the position, adding fuel to their long-simmering feud.
The choir has lost a regional gospel competition for four straight years to a flashy, high-energy choir. Parton wants to shake things up to increase their chances of winning this year, but QL believes traditional music will win out. And the tension between the two is ramped up when QL's goody-two-shoes, church-going daughter begins dating Parton's rebellious grandson.
That seems sufficient material to work with, right? Apparently not for the director of this film. There are about 10 different plots in this two-hour movie, and that is eight plots too many.
Keke Palmer and Jeremy Jordan play Olivia and Randy, the two teens falling in love. They're actually pretty good, but I really could not have cared less about them. Give me more Dolly! Give me more Queen! And yes, give me more music! There is so much going on in this movie. I really wished they'd kept the focus on the two divas and the music. The movie would have been about 30 minutes shorter and 10 times better.
Now let's talk about the music. I did not come to this movie to here Keke Palmer and Jeremy Jordan sing. They are very good, but really. You've got Parton and QL and you focus on the no-name youngsters? I don't think so. QL and Parton both get amazing solos in this film (I was near tears when Parton sang), and the climactic moment at the gospel competition is worth the price of admission, but I wanted more.
Overall, "Joyful Noise" is an okay movie. You will LOVE the restaurant brawl between QL and Parton. But otherwise, it's completely forgettable. I'm giving it 3 out of 5 stars because I like QL and Parton so much.
This movie is rated PG-13.