Bishop T.K. Wilson, his wife & two children are a respectable family in their community - Yet the Wilson kids are fighting temptations & their son Dante has thoughts other than taking over his fathers church.
A talented young woman is torn between her dreams and her family in this musical. Sparkle (Jordin Sparks) has been blessed with a beautiful voice and a gift for songwriting, but she's afraid to perform her songs in public, in part because her mother Emma (Whitney Houston), a former entertainer whose career brought her nothing but heartache, refuses to allow her daughters to sing outside of church. But Sparkle persuades her older sibling Sister (Carmen Ejogo) to sing one of her tunes at a talent show, and the reaction proves that Sister has star quality and Sparkle can write potential hits. An ambitious would-be manager, Stix (Derek Luke), persuades Sparkle and Sister to form a singing group with their sibling Dolores (Tika Sumpter), but while the act clicks wit audiences, the sisters have to contend with their angry mother, Sister gets caught up in a destructive relationship with a short-tempered comedian (Mike Epps), and Sparkle finds herself falling in love with Stix.
Sparkle is a low rent version of Dreamgirls so to speak a remake of an unremarkable film form the 70s is a bad film make no mistake about it. The direction is very amateur, the cinematography is crap and the performances are mostly questionable but the film has its charms as well as it's good moments. And although the film is way melodramatic and unintentionally funny at parts it still manages to be entertaining and consistently engaging. The film centers on a trio of sisters in a band called well "Sisters" lol. The plotting movers along expectedly as they have a minor rise to fame while dealing with their overprotective mother, love, drugs, sex and domestic abuse. But the film also delves a little deeper into the intricate relationships between them due most to the solid performance from Carmen Ejogo as Sister she's sultry and seemingly self centered but underneath that she's extremely protective of her sisters she basically raised as her mother had problems. Because of that her position in the group and her family is a difficult, multi layered one and the best exploration is done there. Everything else feels a little forced and flimsy. I don't wanna be to hard on the film because for the most part I enjoyed it and maybe thats because I enjoy lifetime movies. It has it's good moments and it's bad and the best I can say about Whitney Houston's involvement in the film is that she was a very talented woman earlier on in her career and I hope she's at peace now. Although a mixed bag there is enough here to merit a recommendation if this type of melodramatic, musical period piece appeals to you. I'd also like to say that even though the film is set in the past it never feels that way. The consistency is off as well as the logic and it feels very modern with some retro costumes. The film doesn't much sparkle as have a dull shine. 3/5
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