by Candace Salima, US Daily Review Contributor
Movie: Joyful Noise
Starring: Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton, Keke Palmer, Jeremy Jordan
Director: Todd Graff
Joyful Noise Website
I feel I must issue a disclaimer. I love music. I’m willing to give any movie a try if it has great music and dancing in it. With that being said, Joyful Noise made me laugh, cry, cheer and dance in my seat, literally. My husband and I loved it so much, we’re going to go see it again.
The story itself isn’t that spectacular, but the writing, acting and directing literally makes it jump off the screen. G.G. Sparrow (Dolly Parton) and Vi Rose Hill (Queen Latifah) are competing choir directors. And this isn’t just any old church choir, it is a choir so packed with talent and drama I was engaged in the story from the opening scene to the very last.
We have the romance between the two young stars, Olivia Hill (Keke Palmer) and Randy Garrity (Jeremy Jordan). It was delightful to find that the color of their skin was never brought into the story, and it was a sweet romance complicated by a warring mother and grandmother. The kids themselves were fine, but the adults brought all kinds of drama into the relationship.
In addition, we have Vi Rose’s husband off in the military under somewhat mysterious circumstances. A mother holding on too tightly to her children, a son with Aspberger’s befriended by the unusually kind Randy, and the story literally grabs you by the throat. Throw in the astounding talent on the screen and the movie was filled with great music and dancing. The final number, which was the national competition for gospel choirs, was a mix of Sly and the Family Stone, 50 Cent, and Stevie Wonder. Seriously, what movie wouldn’t rock from beginning to end with the likes of Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton in the main roles?
Rated PG-13, there is some strong language in the movie, and completely unnecessary I might add. But the story itself is powerful, strong, and has the underlying message of despair sparked by today’s economy, showing business after business, and finally the last one of 3 generations having to close their doors. Through all the despair, they turn to music and the Lord to get them through, and it has a wonderful message on many levels. I highly recommend as many people see this as possible, it is truly an amazing movie. I happily give Joyful Noise 5 out of 5 stars and will be adding it to my home library as soon as it comes out.