By Justin Mathew Dennis |Staff Writer|
“Joyful Noise” is a feel-good, inspirational musical comedy that can make you sing and cry, but is not without it’s flaws.
The movie was a hit with the viewers on moviefone.com, but a flop with critics.
With strong female leads such as Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton, how could the film go wrong? The acting is great, the jokes are funny and the drama is touching, but the movie is long with useless subplots and excessive foul language.
The small town of Pacashau, Ga. is counting on the Divinity Church Choir to win the National Joyful Noise Competition. The choir is known for their beautiful harmonies and traditional style, but tension between Vi Rose Hill (Queen Latifah), the new choir director, and G.G. Sparrow (Dolly Parton) may be jeopardizing their chances at Nationals.
Vi Rose’s traditional style is being pushed down and out by G.G.’s rebellious grandson Randy (Jeremy Jordan), who also catches the eye of Vi Rose’s daughter Olivia (Keke Palmer). The connection between the two teenagers increases the tension between Vi Rose and G.G. To make the most joyful noise, these two women must find a way to put aside their differences for the sake of the choir.
Director and writer Todd Graff did a good job with the script. The storyline is great and easy to follow, but drags on.There are side-stories in the movie that are funny and entertaining, but these subplots, that are supposed to be something small, end up playing too big a part in the movie.
One subplot concerns a woman from the choir and her romantic life. Viewers know it isn’t the main story, so it is confusing when the movie concludes with the resolution to the woman’s romantic life. This relationship between this subplot and the main plot is so tenuous that it seems awkward to end the movie with it.
What the movie lacks in the screenplay it makes up for with its impressive musical presentation. The gospel twist of very well-known songs such as “Sign, Sealed, Delivered,” and “Forever” by Chris Brown boosts viewer’s approval of this movie. Unfortunately, critics were not so easily swayed by the bells and whistles and stuck with their low rating.
The best way to watch the movie is with an open mind and without any expectations. The trailers portray the movie as a funny, spiritual, musical family movie, which makes it easy to overlook the PG-13 rating.
The movie received its rating for ‘some language and sexual references.’ The amount of foul language in this movie was more than I expected. The sexual references were concealed with humorous tone. If you attend the movie expecting to entertain the entire family, you may be disappointed.
Kate Erbland from Boxoffice Magazine described Joyful Noise as, “a well-meaning production that consistently fails to deliver on even the most basic of cinematic expectations, all while covering up stunning ineptitude with bloated song-and-dance numbers.”