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.
I have to say that I liked this version of Sparkle better than the original and I am definitely glad that they changed the story up a bit. This film is very predictable, but I did not care. I think that the cast that was assembled for this film did an excellent job. I have to admit that my main reason for going to see this film was because I wanted to see Whitney Houston in her swan song performance. Whitney (Emma) did an outstanding job in this film and I have to admit that when she sang I got a little (okay, a lot) choked up. Not just because she was singing but because I realized how much I missed her. Jordan Sparks (Sparkle) was made for this role. With this being her film debut, I am sure that we will be seeing a lot more of Jordan on screen. Carmen Ejogo (Sister) almost stole the show along with Mike Epps (Satin). Both were captivating and although you knew from the start where this relationship was heading, it did not matter because you wanted to see it play out. When Michael Beach (Rev. Bryce) hit the screen, I was looking at him and I knew that I had seen him on screen before, but I just could not place him. Whoever did his make-up did a darn good job. Tika Sumpter (Dolores) has come a long way since her days on the television soap One Life to Live. She is the "grounded" sister of the bunch and demonstrates that by having clear goals set and a strong sense of self. Derek Luke (Stix) is the group's manager and Sparkle's love interest who is just trying to do the right thing. I do have to say that there were some faux pas in the film. There were times that the group was singing without mikes and the half-naked dress would have never been acceptable during that time (I don't think). By the way, there was a women sitting in my row that was singing along with all the songs that she remembered (I was cracking up). Do I think that this will be the film of the year? No, but I do think that Director Salim Akil did a good enough job to warrant the price of a ticket. One last thing, I also got choked up again when Jordan sang at the conclusion of the film. I will be downloading that one. I give this film green light.
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