Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter Source:
Joyful Noise is a funny and inspirational story of music, hope, love and renewal. The small town of Pacashau, Georgia, has fallen on hard times, but the 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, but the discord between its two leading ladies now threatens to tear them apart. Their newly appointed director, Vi Rose Hill (Latifah), stubbornly wants to stick with their tried-and-true traditional style, while the fiery G.G. Sparrow (Parton) thinks tried-and-true translates to tired-and-old. Shaking things up even more is the arrival of G.G.'s rebellious grandson, Randy (Jeremy Jordan). Randy has an ear for music, but he also has an eye for Vi Rose's beautiful and talented daughter, Olivia (Keke Palmer), and the sparks between the two teenagers are causing even more friction between G.G. and Vi Rose. If 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
Wow, what music! I was tapping my feet to this film's soundtrack. This movie contains some great music and features songs like "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" but with a spiritual flavor. It makes use of other secular songs in this way, including an energetic rendition of an Earth, Wind and Fire song, "Higher". On top of that, it offers hope as it features realistic characters who deal with issues with each other such as jealousy, anger, and frustration. It has several dashes of humor thrown in too, the laugh-out-loud kind. For example, in one scene a character says he feels like he's God's target lately with several things going wrong in his life. He's told, "He's God. If He wanted to shoot you He wouldn't miss!"
The movie is grounded in its portrayal of the world and church and how these two particular entities collide and sometimes for the better. Vi Rose Hill (Queen Latifah) and G.G. Sparrow (Dolly Parton) clash about the future of the choir, especially when G.G.'s grandson Randy (Jeremy Jordan) joins up, mainly because he has his eyes on Vi's daughter Olivia (Keke Palmer). Yet Vi can't deny how talented Randy is and how he helps her son, who is almost a recluse, to open up. The Divinity Church Choir wants to win the National Joyful Noise Competition and not finish in second place for a change. It will take some shaking up in the choir, and a few feathers getting ruffled, but truly all things appear to be possible. Go see this one and tap your toes as you listen to the triumphant tracks featured in this wonderful spiritual movie! Church goers and non-church goers alike will enjoy "Joyful Noise". The themes of forgiveness and perseverance through rough times are nicely featured in this movie and the comment that "God is a loving parent" was a well-placed statement. A few obscenities scattered throughout the story punctuate the human condition and emphasize the need for a life with Jesus Christ. Thus the PG-13 rating and our recommendation for audiences over age 12. All struggles are eventually resolved and the characters realize that trusting in God wins.
Content Description: Sex: A few double entendres and innuendos; a girl teases a boy not to look at her rear as she walks away and he does anyway and they laugh; an overnight trist between an adult couple produces dire consequences; kissing between a few couples; a man and woman kiss and grab each other's rears; a form-fitted choir robe is played for laughs and not sensuality Language: G/OMG-4; BS-6; S-1; H-2; Bi*ch-2; A-5; D-1; P-2; Slang for testicles-1; Butt-1 Violence: Three teens get into it and a few punches are thrown and one young man is hit in the groin area; a character bumps his head on a tree branch while walking; a mother slaps her disrespectful daughter; tensions as characters disagree with each other; two friends have a slapstick "brawl" in a restaurant but no one is seriously harmed. Drugs: None Nudity: Cleavage; shirtless man. Other: One tongue-in-cheek comment that a small sin is justified in pursuit of a larger purpose; family tensions.