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'Joyful Noise' review: Predictable but will lift spirits

January 13, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton shepherd us into the world of a small-town church choir in "Joyful Noise." Gospel music is not on my playlist, but this film somehow still got my toes tapping. There is a positive spirit to this film. Here's my review.

"Joyful Noise" tells the story of a church choir hoping to make it to the finals of a national choir competition - in part to boost the morale of the community, which has been hard hit by the economy.

Queen Latifah plays the conservative choir director, while Dolly Parton plays a more liberal member of the choir.

Her grandson in the film falls for the daughter of Latifah's character.

"Joyful Noise" is full of some really beautiful music, all performed by very talented people. The two major stars in the movie get their solos, but as an acting duo, their verbal spats are also fun to watch.

Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah play strong-willed women well. Keke Palmer, as Latifah's daughter, just gets better and better with each role.

And director Todd Graff makes a major find in Jeremy Jordan.

Is this movie predictable? Yes. A little cheesy? Sometimes. But it's also sweet and loving and full of energy, and when it comes to family, this "Noise" speaks volumes.

This is the type of movie that critics don't generally embrace. It's light, it's silly, you probably can figure out what's going to happen.

I acknowledge that. But I still enjoyed it from start to finish. It lifted my spirits, and that's good enough for me.