Joyful Noise (2012)
Brief review: Actor-turned-director Todd Graff brings us his third musical, called "Joyful Noise", and it's joyful indeed. Yes, the story has been done many times before, and you could easily predict every single scene in advance, but the script has enough humor, drama, sarcasm and wittiness to make you forgive its unoriginality. Todd Graff manages to pull this musical off decently, thanks to his lively, unpretentious direction that makes the movie quite easy to watch. Apart from a few glossy musical numbers towards the end, there's nothing particularly impressive about the visuals, but that's not even necessary, since "Joyful Noise" is all about the the singing. The songs are familiar, but so catchy and beautifully-sung, they'll still give you goosebumps, and the numbers themselves are joyous and incredibly fun to watch. The cast delivers acting-wise, singing-wise and chemistry-wise. The lovely Queen Latifah can do not wrong, giving another great performance as the conservative Vi Rose, and Dolly Parton does an excellent job as the glamorous and easy-going grandmother. Keke Palmer is by no means an amazing actress, but her voice is absolutely phenomenal. The newcomer Jeremy Jordan seems incredibly comfortable in front of the camera, displaying charm, charisma and unaffected behavior, but it's the hilarious Angela Grovey that steals the show every time she shows up on screen.
Overall summary: Formulaic, hence, predictable, and yet light-hearted and thoroughy enjoyable, "Joyful Noise" entertains with cheerful musical numbers and sarcastically witty dialogues, and gains from its talented, appealing cast members, that sing just as good as they act.