Queen Latifah has one nice dramatic moment, and Dolly Parton blows the doors off of one gospel song in Joyful Noise, but movies aren’t like SportsCenter—you don’t just watch for the highlights. Almost everything else about this faith-based movie is awkward. It’s uncomfortable enough watching Dolly Parton’s stretched face cover the entire screen without a parade of lame jokes about her character’s trips under the knife. There also seems to be a lot of premarital-sex talk for a movie of this ilk, and during the sneak preview, the biggest laugh came when a man died after the unholy act. The music is tepid when it should be the driving force, and on the one occasion when Dolly lets loose, it’s pushed to the background for the unnecessary reunion of minor characters. Joyful? That’s debatable. But it’s certainly noise.
Director: Todd Graff
Producer: Michael Nathanson, Joseph Farrell, Catherine Paura, Broderick Johnson, Andrew A. Kosove, Timothy M. Bourne, Queen Latifah and Shakim Compere
Cast: Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton, Keke Palmer, Jeremy Jordan, Courtney B. Vance, Dexter Darden, Kris Kristofferson, Jesse Martin, Kirk Franklin, Angela Grovey, Andy Karl, Dequina Moore, Paul Woolfolk, Francis Jue, Roy Huang and Judd Lormand