In Theaters: Jan 13, 2012 Wide
Warner Bros. Pictures
PG-13, 1 hr. 58 min.
Directed By: Todd Graff
Queen Latifah as Vi Rose Hill
Dolly Parton as G.G. Sparrow
and Keke Palmer, Courtney B. Vance, Jeremy Jordan, Randy Garrity, Kris Kristofferson, Jesse L. Martin
Film Reviewed by Kam Williams
When choir director Bernard Sparrow (Kris Kristofferson) passes away unexpectedly, Pastor Dale (Courtney B. Vance) finds himself on the horns of a dilemma. Should he promote the dearly-departed deacon’s deserving assistant, Vi Rose Hill (Queen Latifah), or award the position to his grieving widow, G.G. (Dolly Parton)?
That unlikely feat is the raison d’etre of Joyful Noise, a faith-based
mix of modern morality play and musical numbers. The soulful singing
performances are the film’s forte, from Dolly Parton and Kris
Kristofferson’s heartfelt duet on “From Here to the Moon and Back” to Keke
Palmer and Jeremy Jordan’s equally-evocative interpretation of “Maybe I’m
Amazed” to Ivan Kelley, Jr.’s spirited rendition of “That’s the Way God
As for the pat plotline, the point of departure finds Vi Rose with her hands full and dividing her time from trying to raise two teenagers alone because her husband (Jesse L. Martin) abandoned the family for the military on account of the lack of local jobs. Their son, Walter (Dexter Darden), is in need of help handling his Asperger’s Syndrome while boy-crazy daughter, Olivia (Palmer), sure could use a more appropriate suitor than the thug (Paul Woolfolk) who’s been courting her lately.
Everything changes the day G.G.’s Prodigal Grandson Randy (Jordan) rolls back into town from New York City unexpectedly. Although a little rough around the edges, the misunderstood young man is just the answer for everybody’s malady.
First, he falls in love with Olivia at first sight. Then he serves as a surrogate big brother to Walter. And when he joins the choir, it’s only a matter of time before he mends the fences between Vi Rose and his granny on the road to the finals at the Joyful Noise contest in Los Angeles.
A modern parable that’s fun for the whole family with an uplifting message about the power of cooperation. Can I get an Amen?
Queen Latifah - the "Joyful Noise" Interview