There are two parts to this review. The film and the advanced screening event. I’m going to start with the film.
The story line wasn’t too shocking. Sister group in the 60s making it when their Christian mother is opposed to it after her own failed attempts at making it. You have 3 sisters all with different desires. The eldest one Sister or Tammie (Carmen Ejogo) just wants to get out of the house and away from her mother who she had to take care of. The middle one Sparkle (Jordin Sparks) is the songwriter and wannabe performer but evil mother Emma (Whitney Houston) has done a number on her and convinced her that she’s not a performer. And the youngest sassy sister who just wants to be a doctor. My favourite.
I would like to make it clear that no matter how bad this film might have been the fact that Omari Hardwick was in it made it worth it. I loved his portrayal of Levi, the hardworking poor boyfriend to Tammie . The film is a typical TD Jakes production where extreme doesn’t get you anywhere and faith is everything, but, as a remake of a movie faith in yourself was the message. But the love that man had for that woman was enough to help me see through the predictable story line. If a man loves you like Levi loved that woman….well you would cry at his proposal.
Whitney is not known for her acting. She did ok. I didn’t wince. She has a tendency to rush her lines as she did in Waiting to Exhale and the story’s focus on the drugs and relationships did reflect life a tad too much in places but as Executive Producer I guess she knew that. Jordin was ok too but the film was stolen by the 2 younger sisters. Oh and Mike Epps was good. Not as great as Omari but he held his own. I wouldn’t want anyone to know that I have a new crush so I’m trying to make it less obvious. Am I winning?
Of course Whitney had her how many notes? / Book of Record setting church solo (His eyes are on the Sparrow) which was shoe horned in. There were drugs, domestic violence, disappointment, lots of costume changes but it all came right in the end. It was quite feminist in a subtle way that may not have been intentional. I would definitely watch it again…..for Omari . Oh and for British Carmen’s portrayal of the sexy eldest sister. She rocked that role.
All in all a good remake of a mediocre movie. I would have liked to have seen more historical consistencies in fashion, settings etc but, that’s clearly not where the budget went. The budget went on the star cast. That was the real sparkle. Great casting.
Oh and we know that they will market the hell out of it being Whitney’s last movie.
© Chelsea Black