Joyful Noise

"This town is so small you can be married three times and still have all the same in-laws!" This is a teeny sample of the kind of corn-pone, good-natured humor you will enjoy.

Full disclosure: I have never been a fan of Gospel music...but this movie could change my mind. We are with a small-town choir that competes in regional and national contests, so we see thrilling choreography and hear terrific music. Each time a number ends we think, "How can they beat THAT?"

Here is the top tier of talent:
  • Dolly Parton ("Nine to Five"), whose character is widowed during the opening credits. She fully expects to take the place of her choir director husband after his fatal heart attack. Her solo is so sweet..... Remember she has earned multiple Grammy Awards.
  • Queen Latifah ("The Secret Life of Bees") gets that coveted position of choir director instead. This only increases the bad blood between Parton's wealthy widow and Latifah's single mom. Her solo is poignant..... Remember, she too, has been honored by the Grammys.
  • Keke Palmer ("Akeelah and the Bee") is the talented daughter of that new choir director. Her mother can't accept her daughter's burgeoning maturity, while SHE can't accept her parents' separation. I LOVE her Face in the Mirror solo!
  • Jeremy Jordon, primarily a stage actor ("Newsies" and "West Side Story") plays the widow's grandson. He lands back in this little burg after his mother kicks him out. He spent his childhood here, so he already knows that talented daughter! BTW, this actor is a FIND! He sings, he dances, he acts and he's good-looking!
  • Courtney B. Vance ("Final Destination 5") is the minister of the local church. He wants what is best for the church, the town, and his parishioners, but he has to balance the budget, too.
  • Kris Kristofferson ("Dolphin Tale") makes a couple of cameos as the soon-dead choir director.
There are so many other outstanding actors, it's a shame I don't have more room. Suffice it to say, you will come to know everyone in the choir and you will delight in each person's moment to shine. And the cat-fights between Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah are a pure joy. Both are so likable and the dialogue is so good, you want them to go on and on.

This PG-13 movie has a little more (mild) profanity than I expected, but it's done in such a good-spirited way, I can't be too upset. There is a throw-away subplot or two, but we are so busy enjoying ourselves, we overlook them. We see no sweaty bodies, vehicular mayhem (watch Grandma Dolly drive!), gunshots or blowie uppie stuff. We see lots of decent people trying to bring some pride to a little town that has had its share of hard knocks.

When I go to a movie, I always want someone to root for. This one gives us a whole town full of worthy folks. What a pleasure. "Joyful Noise" is a pulse-quickening joy!
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Here is a link to a preview:
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