To sing or not to sing? That is the question. When initially hearing the pairing of Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton sharing the mic, one would easily dismiss the idea of a smash hit right? Wrong. This one-two punch delivers powerhouse performances written with a fairy tale script that does exactly as the titles insist, by providing something sweet for the ears also known as a Joyful Noise.
The film stars Latifah as Vi Rose Hill who is asked to step up after the untimely demise of the previous choir director of Divinity Church. After being overlooked, his widow G. G. Sparrow (Parton) begins to have several feuds and qualms with Hill due to their differences in tradition and the direction the choir is heading. With a location in a small struggling town such as Pacashau, GA where businesses are shutting down a day at a time, there’s no wonder Divinity’s choir is the only hope this city has. The church’s choir is a semifinalist for the National Joyful Noise competition. However, between the friction regarding Rose and Sparrow, the relationship of Rose and her daughter Olivia (Palmer) and Rose trying to cope with a son with Asperger’s syndrome, it seems like an impossible task. The plot continues to thicken as Rose finds herself at odds with her husband then discovering Olivia is dating G.G.s troublesome grandson, Randy (Jeremy Jordan).
The film was able to remain captivating because of star power and most of all its marvelous music. It has a simple message, with depth in the right spots that tells an uplifting story about love, faith, hope and family. What distinguishes this film from other glee club like musicals and/or films with music is the ability to have multiple stories compiled into one dynamic explosion that keeps the audience in their gospel grooves from start to finish. Alongside a spiritually filling soundtrack, Joyful Noise is sure to leave its viewers feeling restored, refreshed and renewed why? Because, just like the song says “That’s the way God planned it.”
Release Date: January 13th, 2012; Rated: PG-13; Length: 118 minutes
Starring: Queen Latifah, Keke Palmer & Dolly Parton