Saturday, January 14, 2012


Review: Joyful Noise
3.5 stars (out of 5)
By R. Kurt Osenlund

Joyful Noise certainly has its demographics covered. For the traditionalistic Bible Belt crowd, there's a bounty of God-fearing folk, and at least three women who are rendered defective when the men who complete them leave the picture. For the urban enthusiast, there's ample soulful swagger and belting of R&B, with tracks by Michael Jackson and Chris Brown given the shake-the-rafters treatment. For the Gleeks, there's an exultant third-act medley that puts every single mash-up in Ryan Murphy's repertoire to shame. For the gays, there's nearly enough over-primped fabulosity to rival Burlesque, whose divas-play-themselves lead the movie surely follows. And for the cynical liberals, there's a tacky reflection of the church's overall hypocrisy that seems marginally self-aware (among other things, the inevitable tournament victory of the film's devout, cookie-cutter choir can't be had until the crooners ditch the God stuff and whip out the secular guns).

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