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Sparkle (2012)

PG-13 | | Drama, Music | 17 August 2012 (USA)
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In the 1960s, three sisters form a girl group and soon become local sensations with major label interest, but fame becomes a challenge as the close-knit family begins to fall apart.

Director:

Salim Akil

Writers:

Mara Brock Akil (screenplay), Joel Schumacher (story) | 1 more credit »
7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jordin Sparks ... Sparkle
Whitney Houston ... Emma
Derek Luke ... Stix
Mike Epps ... Satin
Carmen Ejogo ... Sister
Tika Sumpter ... Dolores
Omari Hardwick ... Levi
CeeLo Green ... Black
Curtis Armstrong ... Larry
Terrence Jenkins ... Red (as Terrence J)
Tamela J. Mann ... Ms. Sara Waters (as Tamela Mann)
Michael Beach ... Rev. Bryce
Brely Evans ... Tune Ann (as Bre'ly Evans)
Linda Boston ... Sister Clora
Sidi Henderson ... Mr. Bell
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Celebrate the legend.

Genres:

Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content involving domestic abuse and drug material, and for some violence, language and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 August 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sparkle See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,643,342, 19 August 2012, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$24,397,469, 30 September 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Datasat | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Whitney Houston's last film - she died during post production. The picture was to be an acting comeback for the singer, who had not appeared in a theatrical release since The Preacher's Wife (1996) in 1996. The film is dedicated to her memory. See more »

Goofs

In the end credits, when giving credit to the Glen Campbell variety show, Campbell's name is spelled with 2 n's. See more »

Connections

References The Godfather (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

If I
Written by Aloe Blacc, Leon Michels, Nick Movshon (as Nicholas Anthony Movshon) and Jeffrey Scott Silverman
Performed by Aloe Blacc
Courtesy of Stones Throw Records, LLC
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sparkles like a polished...well, you know...
8 January 2013 | by Jonathon_NatsisSee all my reviews

Pop star Jordin Sparks stars alongside Whitney Houston (in her final performance of what was supposed to be the second wind of her acting career) in Sparkle, a remake of the 1976 cult hit among black audiences. Conversely, the 2012 version, centred around a trio of sisters who hit the big time in 1960s Motown before being crippled by the lures of fame, is entirely devoid of any personality or soul, playing out like every other African-American themed shambles this side of Tyler Perry's repeated disasters.

Director Salim Akil (an apparent prodigy of Perry's stylings) breaths plastic life into the cardboard cut-outs he calls characters. Almost every stereotype conceivable in the dram-rom genre is on full display, including the preachy reverend, the tough girl, the abusive husband, the heavy-handed mother and her introverted daughter.

The performances across the board are sound, but a practically non-existent screenplay renders any interaction between characters essentially worthless. Even at a touch under two hours, Sparkle severely overstays its welcome. Given the similar plot frame and emphasis on glitz-and-glamour music, comparisons to Aussie crowd-pleaser The Sapphires are to be expected, but where the local production made its intentions clear from the outset, Sparkle rambles and labours, pleading with its audiences to maintain an unwarranted sliver of attention in the lead up to a drab and bitterly predictable conclusion.

*There's nothing I love more than a bit of feedback, good or bad. So drop me a line on jnatsis@iprimus.com.au and let me know what you thought of my review. If you're looking for a writer for your movie website or other publication, I'd also love to hear from you.*


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