Not so 'Joyful': Parton, Latifah miss the note

Joyful Noise is an ungainly assembly of parts that don't fit, and the strange thing is that it makes no particular effort to please its target audience, which would seem to be lovers of gospel choirs. There's a scene toward the end at a national gospel music competition that features a real gospel choir, and compared to them our team seems like a hasty gathering of unmatched character types. These are people we don't believe, with dialogue that sounds contrived and unconvincing.

The place: a small Georgia town, deep in poverty. The characters: the Pacashau Sacred Divinity Choir. The occasion: Just as the choir leader dies of a heart attack, the annual gospel choir competition is approaching. Two strong women are in competition for the job of choir director. Vi Rose Hill (Queen Latifah) and G.G. Sparrow (Dolly Parton). Pastor Dale (Courtney B. Vance) gives Vi Rose the position, although G.G. is the widow of the former director and believes she should have inherited the honor. Full review.

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