Mini Movie Review: Joyful Noise

When I head to the movie theater just to have fun, rather than for the quality of the movie itself, trying to come up with a well-reasoned review just seems silly. So why not embrace the silliness with a silly mini-movie review?

-1:15 PM
I arrive at the Esquire theater. For those not from St. Louis, the only reason you'd ever go to a movie at the Esquire is if you don't mind the other patrons... Interacting with the movie. You know, yelling at the screen and loudly opining that the characters shouldn't go in there. I wouldn't see We Need to Talk About Kevin at the Esquire, but for things like Spiderman 3 or Joyful Noise, it can be a grand old time.

-1:20 PM
I meet my friends Tiffany and Becky at the concession stand, and buy a soda with some room at the top of the cup. This may have something to do with the bulge in Tiffany's coat pocket.

-1:30 PM
Previews. I make a raspberry noise for all the movies I have no interest in seeing, which turns out to be all of them.

-1:33 PM

-1:34 PM
Just seeing that is enough to ask for the coat bulge to be revealed. Out comes the Captain Morgan, which is surreptitiously added to all of our sodas.

-1:37 PM
The title screen comes up, and the only other people sitting nearby curse, stand up, and leave. Apparently, all those previews with warm family messages and Tyler Perry didn't tip them off that they weren't in the theater next door, which is showing The Devil Inside.

-1:55 PM
We devise a game in which we have to take a drink every time a down-home folksy cliche like "The cheese may be free in the mousetraps, but trust me, the mice there ain't happy," pops up.

-1:57 PM
And whenever "regionals" or "nationals" are mentioned.

-2:04 PM
There is a character whose sole trait is that she repeats what people just said. She turns out to be the best secondary character in the whole movie.

-2:15 PM
Because the other secondary characters are 1) A lady who can't find a boyfriend because a dude died after fucking her, and 2) A gangly white guy who is having trouble with his faith because the economy is so bad.

-2:16 PM
Although I don't admit to Tiffany and Becky that I think said gangly white guy is super-cute.

-2:20 PM
That said, there sure is a lot of racial diversity in this gospel choir from small town Georgia. Plus, two interracial relationships, because people from small town Georgia never have any problems with that.

-2:40 PM
It's very important that the choir does well in competition, because the sluggish economy is causing all the businesses in town to collapse. And nothing pays the rent or fills empty bellies like a church choir winning a contest. That sounds glib, but there is literally a scene in which people in a bread line tell choir members that winning is their last hope.

-2:44 PM
The writers think that if they directly address the fact that Dolly Parton has had seventeen face lifts, that should end any conversation about the fact that she doesn't look quite human anymore. And I say this as a massive Dolly fan. Sad.

-2:47 PM
I haven't said anything about the forbidden romance between Queen Latifah's daughter and Dolly Parton's grandson. Nope, I sure haven't.

-2:50 PM
That grandson is meant to be a handsome rogue, but is totally that douchey guy who plays guitar in the corner at every college party, trying to get into the insecure girls' pants.

-2:55 PM
That folksy cliche drinking rule has really paid off in spades. Urp.

-2:59 PM
If you're going to try and get out of explaining your quirky character by making them autistic, you should probably do a modicum of research on autism.

-3:03 PM
There is actually a scene in which the choir sings updated music instead of the tired old standards, and shows this transition by taking off their choir robes to show the bright clothing beneath. Really.

-3:12 PM
The choir wins the big competition. Everyone in the small town is thrilled, and the movie is capped off with a wedding. Please ignore the fact that except for learning valuable lessons about life and love, nobody's life materially improves.

I wasn't expecting much out of this movie, which is why I was able to enjoy it. The guy who directed this also directed Camp, and it suffers from a lot of the same problems. Chiefly, all the music is great, and most of the storyline is crap. I was hoping for a bit more catfighting between Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton, but all I really asked from this movie is some showstopping numbers, and on that front, it was able to deliver.

Joyful Noise (as a movie): C+
Joyful Noise (as an experience): B+


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