‘Joyful Noise’ Sees Moderate Success Opening Weekend

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Gina Meeks


Hitting theaters on
Friday, the new musical featuring Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton made
$11.3 million at the box office this weekend, enough to push it into the
top five.

“A funny
and inspirational story of music, hope, love and renewal,” the Alcon
Entertainment and Warner Bros. Pictures film has been heavily marketed
to the faith-based crowd.

Many reviewers have compared it to Glee,
the television comedy/drama featuring a high school glee club. CNN
Entertainment called the flick “a squeaky-clean pop-gospel fairy tale,”
but said “the movie’s musical numbers are catchy and rollicking and, in
their bright sunshiny way, rather soulful.”

The Los Angeles Times wrote that Joyful Noise
had some solid moments, but said the cast “is dealing with adequate
material at best, and the noise is more dutiful than joyful.”

movie takes place in Pacashau, Ga., a small town that has fallen on
hard times. Its people are counting on the Divinity Church Choir to lift
their spirits by winning the National Joyful Noise Competition.

the choir has always known how to sing in harmony, the disagreements
between its two leading ladies may tear them apart. While their new
director, Vi Rose Hill (Latifah), stubbornly wants to stick with their
tried-and-true traditional style, the fiery G.G. Sparrow (Parton) thinks
tried-and-true translates to tired-and-old.

Things get shaken up even more when G.G.’s rebellious grandson, Randy (Jeremy Jordan, Broadway’s Bonnie and Clyde), arrives. He has an ear for music, but he also has his eye on Vi Rose’s daughter, Olivia (Keke Palmer, Akeelah and the Bee). Sparks fly between the two teenagers, but their romance causes even more friction between G.G. and Vi Rose.

these two strong-willed women can put aside their differences for the
good of the people in their town, they—and their choir—may make the most
joyful noise of all.

musically driven film also brings together the sounds of gospel, pop,
country, rock and R&B with memorable songs, performed by the cast,
from a wide range of artists, including Michael Jackson, Usher, Chris
Brown, Paul McCartney, Sly & the Family Stone and Stevie Wonder.
Parton also wrote original songs for the film, including “Not Enough,”
“From Here to the Moon and Back” and “He’s Everything.”

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