.
sparkle

Sparkle

Whitney Houston, Jordin Sparks

Directed by Salim Akil
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 1
Community: star rating
5 1 0
August 16, 2012

Whitney Houston deserved better than to go out onscreen with this botch job remake of a 1976 soap opera that never deserved another thought. Hell, Dreamgirls did a better job of fictionalizing the story of the Supremes into a viable musical. The new Sparkle is a formula job from scene one to dead end. Set in Detroit in the late 1960s with Motown in flower, Sparkle casts Houston as the domineering mother of three daughters who form a girl group behind mama's back. Sister (Carmen Ejogo) is the troubled bombshell who fronts the group, called – ready for it? – Sister and Her Sisters. Dee (Tika Sumpter) doesn't mind singing backup because she has her eye on being a doctor. It's Sparkle (Jordin Sparks), a churchy mama's girl, who does mind. Sparkle writes all the songs and yearns to be a STAR!. Oh, brother. Director Salim Akil hits every cliché in the script and adds visual triteness of his own. Sparks, the Season Six American Idol winner, has a lovely smile and no discernible range as an actress. So her final transformation falls flat. Still, there's one scene that almost redeems this mess of a movie. It's Houston in church singing "His Eye Is On the Sparrow." She gives it everything she has. And what a glory abides in her voice. In a movie that feels fake to its core, Houston is the genuine article. She will be much missed.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Road to Nowhere”

    Talking Heads | 1985

    A cappella harmonies give way to an a fuller arrangement blending pop and electro-disco on "Road to Nowhere," but the theme remains constant: We're on an eternal journey to an undefined destination. The song vaulted back into the news a quarter century after it was a hit when Gov. Charlie Crist used it in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Florida. "It's this little ditty about how there's no order and no plan and no scheme to life and death and it doesn't mean anything, but it's all right," Byrne said with a chuckle.

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com