Joyful Noise Review
Joyful Noise (2012)
Gospel is said to be the voice of God through the people. I doubt that God would want to shout the lyrics of Usher’s Yeah while preaching.
This movie has to be the least christen of all movies that are about the church. What’s so ironic about this story is that despite all the scenes set inside the church and the religious characters, this movie makes no attempt to talk about the bible and make no religious questions with any decision. Rather then making the smart choice to question our faith while developing great characters, this film decided to take an opposite direction.
Joyful Noise tells the story of a small town gospel group that hopes to make it to the nationals. Leading this group of people is Queen Latifah. She is struggling to raise two teenagers, one who is on the brink of womanhood, and a son who has aspergers syndrome. On the other side we have Dolly Parton and her grandson who has come to live with her after getting kicked out by his parents. You have no idea how annoying this young man is. Played by Jeremy Jordan, he is so unbelievably stupid. He can sing, but he somehow can’t think.
Speaking of the singing, the gospel scenes are probably the best in the film. Many of their song moments are entertaining and allow plenty of toe tapping moments. I can see what this movie is trying to do. It’s trying to become like Glee, but with more gospel. I like that idea, but this has two problems. First of all, the movie begs to have their own songs rather then having to purchase a bunch of “inspirational” sounding songs. Why didn’t the studio hire someone to write original songs. That would have made this more original. Second, the character are not developed enough.
The relationship between Dolly and Latifah is not explored enough. The relationships between the kids are explored too much. Any relationship between the side characters is not interesting. My issue with Joyful Noise is that it has too much noise. I’m not saying it worked too hard, but it really needed to remind itself what kind of film it was. I guess it’s supposed to be a drama, but all the ads make it look like a comedy. Pick and chose!
Were the songs enough to get away from the development problems? No. But I’m sure there is an audience out there somewhere for Joyful Noise.
Two sets of Gospel singers out of five. Check it out if your really curious.