Starring: Jordin Sparks, Whitney Houston, Derek Luke, Mike Epps, Tamela Mann and Carmen Ejogo
Director: Salim Akil
Running time: 116 minutes
Showing at Cineplex Cinema
There is something uplifting about a musical that is based on real life events, done by a black cast. The story is usually that of an artiste from a humble background trying to chase their star. They almost always have a happy ending. Sappy, you might say, but there is no doubt they leave you smiling and happy.
The latest fallen music star Whitney Houston stars in this movie, Sparkle. Whitney stars in a minor role alongside a cast of some of the celebrated black stars.
The movie also features Terrence J, Cee Lo Green, Derek Luke and Jordin Sparks. It has already enjoyed largely positive reviews. Roger Ebert of Chicago Sun-Times for example, applauds Whitney for pulling off one of her best performances.
The movie is centred on a musical prodigy, Sparkle played by Jordin Sparks who is trying hard to break through as an artiste. But she also has to deal with a family conflict that is threatening the cohesion in the family.
She is lucky to be hailing from a wealthy family of a single mother, played by Whitney. In her private life, her romantic affair with her manager is turning out to be a challenge since she has to balance between acting professional with someone she’s involved with, and being his partner.
Meanwhile her sisters would like to share in the limelight and the three soon team up and have their eyes set on becoming a dynamic singing group during the Motown-era.
You’ll enjoy the music in the movie like the first soundtrack which is the last song recorded by Whitney Houston titled His Eye is on the Sparrow before she passed away on February 11, 2012 as well as her duet with American Idol winner Jordin Sparks titled Celebrate.
Movie critics Rotten Tomatoes generally agree that that Sparkle scores on a good plot and that the cast delivers well. Cinema goers who have enjoyed musicals like DreamGirls where Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson acted as the singers will find Sparkle equally entertaining as there are similarities.
This movie is bound to be well-received by Whitney fans. It is apparently one of those projects the diva had shelved. She secured the rights to redo Sparkle, a 1976 movie done on singing group The Supremes, under her BrownHouse Productions in 1990s and this is the result.