Joyful Noise

I didn’t expect a 4 star film when I decided to see Joyful Noise, just an entertaining film with good music. Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton and Keke Palmer make sure the music delivers. Yet the story was weaker than expected. Boy did this need a rewrite. It seemed like a movie cobbled together to pander to a Christian, rather dull witted audience, rather than one meant to tell a good story about fascinating characters. All the characters here seemed to be made of cardboard and their petty disagreements didn’t amount to a hill of beans and immediately dissolved when it was convenient.

The premise is that a small town’s church choir needs to win a competition. Their choirmaster dies in the first minutes of the film and his wife played by Parton expects to take over. Instead the pastor appoints Queen Latifah. Ho hum. The usual second rate sitcom-ish conflict ensues.

Why must this choir win? Well, only because Parton says so at one point. Except for some good music and the occasional witty repartee between Latifah and Parton, there isn’t much here. The characters seem wooden and the many subplots are contrived. As I watched I actually thought, “It’s a decent enough film and it’s good that I’m watching in a theater because I would find something else to do if this were on TV or Netflix.”


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