Rated PG-13 112 minutes 2012

Being the final film performance of Whitney Houston only gets Sparkle so far—and it’s not far enough. A remake of a ’70s film, Sparkle is thematically like every other showbiz-kid-with-a-dream movie ever made, and like almost every other film in the genre, its musical numbers are the highlights. The showbiz kid with a dream in this go-round is Jordin Sparks, who, appropriately enough, was one in real life before winning American Idol. She plays Houston’s daughter, determined not to repeat the personal and professional mistakes of her mother. For several scenes, it is impossible to see Houston in character, because the parallels between art and life are so obvious. Sparkle is about what you’d expect it to be—a movie with passable acting and writing, but solid and occasionally show-stopping songs, particularly Houston’s “His Eye Is on the Sparrow.”

Film Credits

Official Site:

Director: Salim Akil

Producer: Debra Martin Chase, T.D. Jakes, Curtis Wallace, Salim Akil, Mara Brock Akil, Howard Rosenman and Gaylyn Fraiche

Cast: Jordin Sparks, Whitney Houston, Derek Luke, Mike Epps, Carmen Ejogo, Tika Sumpter, Omari Hardwick, Cee Lo Green, Curtis Armstrong, Terrence J, Tamela Mann, Michael Beach, Brely Evans, Linda Boston and Sidi Henderson



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