Joyful Noise
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Joyful Noise is a 2012 American musical comedy-drama film, starring Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton, Keke Palmer, Jeremy Jordan, and Courtney B. Vance. It was written and directed by Todd Graff, with gospel-infused music by Mervyn Warren. The film was released in U.S. theaters on January 13, 2012. In the film, two strong-minded women are forced to cooperate when budget cuts threaten to shut down a small-town choir. The film received mixed reviews, with praise for its songs and acting but criticism of its script and tone.


After the untimely death of a small-town church choir director Bernard Sparrow, (Kris Kristofferson) in Pacashau, Georgia, Vi Rose Hill (Queen Latifah), a practical mother raising two teenagers alone, takes control of the choir using the traditional Gospel style that their Pastor Dale (Courtney B. Vance) approves of. However, the director s widow, G. G. Sparrow (Dolly Parton), the main benefactor to the church, believes she should have been given the position. As in previous years, the choir reaches the regional finals of the national amateur Joyful Noise competition, only to be disappointed when a rival choir beats them. Tough times in the town have led to budget problems that threaten to close down the choir, at a time when the town needs the choir s inspiring music more than ever.

Vi Rose has a son, Walter (Dexter Darden), who has Asperger syndrome, and a talented, beautiful and independent daughter, Olivia (Keke Palmer), who detests being under her mother s household rules. G. G. has recently begun caring for her rebellious, drifter grandson, Randy (Jeremy Jordan). A romance blossoms between Olivia and Randy, which is strongly opposed by Vi Rose. Olivia also has a rival suitor, Manny (Paul Woolfolk). At Randy s urging, G. G., Olivia and most of the choir come to believe that some more contemporary arrangements (prepared by Randy) would be more successful for the choir. It also turns out that the choir has a chance at the national finals of the competition when the rival choir is found to have cheated by hiring professionals. But the pastor says that the church will not sponsor the choir unless they continue to use their reverent, traditional style.

Vi Rose s husband, Marcus (Jesse L. Martin), enlisted in the army after having trouble finding work at home, but his prolonged absence has saddened his family and causes additional tension between Vi Rose and Olivia. Meanwhile, a vivacious member of the choir who choreographs their routines, Earla (Angela Grovey), after a long dry stretch, finds passion first with Mr. Hsu (Francis Jue), whose weak heart gives way by morning, and later with Justin (Roy Huang). The town s tough times forces another choir member, Caleb (Andy Karl), and his family out of business. Vi Rose and G. G. come to blows in a confrontation at a crowded diner where Vi Rose is then fired from her job, Olivia s frustration with her mother boils over, and G. G. threatens Pastor Dale with disendowing the church if the choir is not allowed to compete in the finals with the new arrangements.

During the movie Randy befriends Walter and begins to teach him how to play the piano. One day, while at the quarry Randy and Walter are hanging out as Manny arrives. Randy and Manny begin to fight over Olivia ending with Randy giving Manny a bloody nose. When returning home Walter brags to Vi Rose about the fight. Angered by the news, she throws out Randy and tells him to leave her family alone. Randy, however, is able to befriend Manny and convince him to help out the choir with his guitar skills.

The choir travels to Los Angeles for the finals, feeling very unsettled. Vi Rose and Olivia have a fight and Vi Rose slaps Olivia. Tough competition presents itself in the form of a choir made up of cute pre-teens, with a charismatic young soloist (Ivan Kelley Jr.). But Vi Rose, G. G., Olivia and Randy pull the choir together and they give a rousing performance, using the new arrangements and choreography, capturing first place. The choir returns to town in triumph. One year later Earla and Justin get married and then Marcus comes back to his family.


  • Queen Latifah as Vi Rose Hill, Olivia s mother.
  • Dolly Parton as G. G. Sparrow, Randy s maternal grandmother.
  • Keke Palmer as Olivia Hill, Vi Rose s daughter and Randy s love interest.
  • Jeremy Jordan as Randy Garrity, Sparrow s grandson and Olivia s love interest.
  • Dexter Darden as Walter Hill, Vi Rose s son and Olivia s older brother.
  • Courtney B. Vance as Pastor Dale
  • Kris Kristofferson as Bernard Sparrow, G. G. s late husband and Randy s late maternal grandfather.
  • Jesse L. Martin as Marcus Hill, Vi Rose s estranged husband and Olivia s father.
  • Angela Grovey as Earla Hughes, the choir s choreographer.
  • Andy Karl as Caleb, a choir member whose family loses its business.
  • Dequina Moore as Devonne, a talkative choir member.
  • Paul Woolfolk as Manny, a young guitarist with an interest in Olivia.
  • Francis Jue as Ang Hsu, a choir member who is attracted to Earla.
  • Roy Huang as Justin, Earla s second lover.
  • Judd Lormand as Officer Darrel Lino
  • Shameik Moore as Our Lady of Perpetual Tears choir master
  • Ivan Kelley Jr. as the soloist of the Our Lady of Perpetual Tears choir.
  • Kirk Franklin as Baylor Sykes, the choir leader for a rival church.
  • Karen Peck as competition host, lead singer Mighty High
  • Chloe Bailey as a choir member of Our Lady of Perpetual Tears


Joyful Noise began filming in February 2011, in locations throughout Georgia, such as Atlanta, Decatur, Newnan, Dallas, Conyers, Peachtree City, and historic Howard s Restaurant in Smyrna. The movie finished filming in early April 2011.


The movie has twelve songs inspired by the film under the name Joyful Noise Original Motion Picture Soundtrack including Fix Me, Jesus , In Love , Higher Medley and more. The soundtrack is performed by the stars of the movie. Dolly Parton wrote three of the songs, including Not Enough , From Here To The Moon and Back , and He s Everything.


Critical reaction

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 32% based on 129 reviews, with an average rating of 4.70/10. The website s critical consensus reads, Joyful Noise s musical numbers are solidly entertaining, and it benefits from Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton s sizable chemistry; unfortunately, they aren t enough to make up for the rest of the film. On Metacritic, the film has a score of 44 out of 100, indicating mixed or average reviews .

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times described the film as 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. Christy Lemire of The Boston Globe felt that if some incarnation of Glee were to be developed for the Christian Broadcasting Network, it would probably look a lot like Joyful Noise. Peter Debruge of Variety claims that despite the sheer volume of music on offer, very little of it feels authentic – or especially inspiring. Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter felt that everyone in the film is so fundamentally decent and goody-goody that no real tension or unresolvable conflicts ever surface.

Some critics found positive things to say about the film. Richard Corliss of Time magazine stated that the critic in me can authoritatively declare that the film is crap. The fan in me sent his shirt to the dry cleaners for tear removal. Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly felt that the movie s musical numbers are catchy and rollicking and, in their bright sunshiny way, rather soulful. Rex Reed of The New York Observer stated, Don t expect high art, and you will leave Joyful Noise smiling to the beat.

The film won the 2012 Inspirational Country Music Awards Faith, Family, & Country Movie of the Year.

Box office

The movie did manage to recoup, grossing $31.2 million against a $25 million production budget. It opened at #4 at the weekend box office, grossing $11.2 million on its opening weekend, and was screened in 2,735 theaters during its run.

Year 2012
ReleaseDate 2012-01-13
RuntimeMins 118
RuntimeStr 1h 58min
Plot G.G. Sparrow faces off with her choir’s newly appointed director, Vi Rose Hill, over the group’s direction as they head into a national competition.
Awards Awards, 1 nomination
Directors Todd Graff
Writers Todd Graff, Max Myers
Stars Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton, Keke Palmer
Produced by Timothy M. Bourne,Joe Cecchini,Yolanda T. Cochran,Shakim Compere,Noam Dromi,Joseph Farrell,K.C. Hodenfield,Broderick Johnson,Andrew A. Kosove,Michael G. Nathanson,Catherine Paura,Queen Latifah,Steven P. Wegner
Music by Mervyn Warren
Cinematography by David Boyd
Film Editing by Kathryn Himoff
Casting By Tiffany Little Canfield,Mark Fincannon,Bernard Telsey
Production Design by Jeff Knipp
Art Direction by Victoria Ruskin
Set Decoration by Frank Galline
Costume Design by Tom Broecker
Makeup Department Merc Arceneaux,Nikki Bell,Richard Boggs,Andrea C. Brotherton,Veronica Cox,Lawrence Davis,Selena Evans-Miller,Roxie Hodenfield,Sarah Mays,Iasia Merriweather,Monifa Mortis,Stephanie Ponder,Susan Ransom,Cheryl Riddle,Shunika Terry,Linda Thompson,Denise Tunnell,Janice Tunnell,Joani Yarbrough
Production Management Brad Arensman
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director Karen Davis,K.C. Hodenfield,Michael Saunders,Tucker Wells
Art Department Aaron Barnes,Bil Barnes,Dwight Benjamin-Creel,Matthew Butler,Cosmas A. Demetriou,Kathleen Denson,Brody Docar,Carol Francoso,Patrick Fuhrman,Shawn M. Gray,R. Barry Green,Gaville Haughton,Dylan J. Hay-Chapman,Lawrence Heap,Patrick S. Johnson,Ellen L. Kerr,Mayumi Konishi-Valentine,Sedrick Lakpa,Ellen Lampl,Johnny Land,Konrad Lewis,Sean Macomber,Kat McCargar,Drew Meyers,Walt Mikolwski,Jason Wayne Morgan,Nik Morgan,Jenn Moye,Grahame Ménage,Sheila Nash,Ky Hoang Nguyen,Tripp Norton,Angela O Neill,Katrina Rice,Christopher Scheetz,Ann Stacy,Cedar Valentine,Korey Washington,J. Dennis Wilson,Jack Dennis Wilson,Rose Ashikyan
Sound Department Mark Agostino,Phil Barrie,Curt Cash,Benjamin Cheah,Patrick Cicero,John Dinos,Joel Dougherty,Mary H. Ellis,P.K. Hooker,Jonathan Jost,Rick Kline,Tim LeBlanc,Alyson Dee Moore,Drew Ponder,Danny Reeves,Kyle Rochlin,John Roesch,Bartek Swiatek,Gregg Swiatlowski
Special Effects by Scanlan Backus,David Fletcher,Brendan McHale,Tim Walkey
Visual Effects by Peter Allendale,Kenneth Armstrong,Tim Carras,Patrick Clancey,Joshua D. Comen,Jonathan Cronk,Brian Cuartero,Sylvia Kim,Rob Price,Richard Servello,Elinor Villaflor
Camera and Electrical Department Mike Baldassari,Ben Bardin,Roger Basquette,Kelly R. Borisy,Pete Bowman,Dan Cornwall,Eric Dvorsky,Rusty Edmonson,Tom Fendley,Rocky Ford,Ian Forsyth,Dale Fowler,Donny Fowler,Mike Gentry,David George,Derek Golden,Jimmy Hendrix,Jonathan Hilton,Kevin Jackson,Chris Jones,John Lally,Jason Lerczak,Jim McKinney,Saul McSween,P.K. Munson,Gary Oldknow,Glenn Ortman,Luis Pagan,Jerry Chief Parker,Karen Parsons,C. Alan Rawlins,Kerry Rawlins,Van Redin,Kenny Rivenbark,Manuel Manny Rivera,Mackie Roberts,Riko Schatke,Art Schultz,Gregory Still,Hektor Stockton,Cris Toebben,John Trapman,Paul Turner,Trey Twitty,Paul Varrieur,Paul E. Woods
Casting Department Janella Bersabal,Karyn Casl,Brandi S. Hawkins,Patrick Ingram,Caitlin McKenna,Chase Orsini-Liberatore,Shira Sandler,Nathan Wright
Costume and Wardrobe Department Hillary Adcock,Anna Bourne,Linda Brenick,Layne Brightwell,Shelby Davis,Kate Duke,Karen Freed,Daniel George,Lisha Leming,Caroline Miller,Kara Monroe,Kendra L. Patterson,Steve Summers,Sarah Falls,Wilton Chad Gleaton
Editorial Department Jermaine R. Gill,Eileen Godoy,Laura Holeman,Ken Lebre,Natasha Leonnet,Marc Lulkin,Christopher McDonald,Amy Pawlowski,Andre Rivas,Gilbert Carreras
Location Management Erin G. Fuller,Jennifer Griffin,Caleb Hinshaw,Kyle Hinshaw,JT Panzarella,Ryan Schaetzle,Kai Thorup
Music Department Morgan Ames,Nelson Beato,Christine Bergren,Tom Brown,Traci Brown-Bailey,Linda Cohen,Brad Dechter,George Doering,Matt Franko,Kevin Globerman,Mark Graham,Jim Hoffman,Nayanna Holley,Lon Hoyt,Andrew Kinney,Zachary Mitchell,Victor Pesavento,Natalie Ragins,Peter Rotter,Naomi Sato,Tim Simonec,Linnea Snyder,Curt Sobel,Sally Stevens,Alexander Teamer,Peter Vogl,Mervyn Warren,Katie Campbell,Scott Frankfurt,Vicki Giordano,Gerald White
Script and Continuity Department Luca Kouimelis
Transportation Department Robert Brubaker,Sheri B. Burton,Arthur C. Chesser,Terry KJ Day,Pamela Hovies-Ivey,Lewis Jones Jr.,Dan J. Latham II,Norman J. Morton,Jack Prince,Windi Robinson,Kim Smallwood,Randy Southerland,Timothy Stephens,Hank Van Apeldoorn,James R. Walker,Tim J. Walters
Additional Crew Gaytra Arnold,Tammy Arnold,David M. Atkinson,Jp Author,Marvin Baldwin Jr.,Stephanie Beman,Elias Benavidez,Christopher Billig,LaWanda Black,Edwanna Blanding,Micaela Brown,Ellie Bryan,Selena Carrillo,Donna M. Chambers,Chip Clanton,Chad Clark,Michelle Coppins,Anthony J. Davis,Shelby Davis,Erin Douglass,Julie Duffell,Justin Dybowski,D.R. Farquharson,Richard Franceschini,David Fulton,Larry Gilbert,Judd Greener,Nick Grimm,Jeannette Hill,Heath Howard,Lieve Jansen,Robin Rk Kempf,Serop Sam Khatchadour,Danielle King,Andrea Laing,Duncan Lamberson,Alphonse A. Lambert Jr.,Sara Lohman,Michele Lynch,Richard Lyons,Kerry Magro,John Malakoff,Maggie Martin,Mary E. Martin,Grahame Ménage,Judy Ogle,Ethan Patterson,Carl S. Pyrdum Jr.,Jacobi Rain,Patrick Rofoli,Rebecca Rogers,Bryan Seaver,Robert Severance,Keith Sheppard,Amanda Simon,Gene Michael Smith,Michael C. Smith,Sasha Spencer,Brian Sutherin,Stan Swofford,Charles A. Tamburro,Beau Turpin,Jaren Vine,Laura von Herrmann,Tara Wescott,Jessie Sasser White,Anne Wilson,Britney Young,Paul Bednarz,Will Freeman,Jay Johnson,Jon Privett
Thanks Judy Graff,Kerry Magro
Genres Comedy, Drama, Music
Companies Alcon Entertainment, Farrell Paura Productions, Gospel Truth Pictures
Countries USA
Languages English
ContentRating PG-13
ImDbRating 5.7
ImDbRatingVotes 8508
MetacriticRating 44
Keywords choir,autism,asperger syndrome,chips,bare chested male