SPARKLE movie review

by Alexandra McClain
Before there was Dreamgirls , there was Sparkle. The original movie was inspired by girl groups of the time like the Supremes and directed by Sam O’Steen. Surely by now we all know the plot; a group of young girls who are talented singers looking to make their big break and get out of the ghetto. Along the way they discover how quickly you can become swept up in the fast paced lifestyle the music industry has to offer. The typical melodrama we’ve all come to know. If you’ve seen the original film then you might be hoping that the remake will give it a new spit shine.
Casting Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks as lead roles for the remake of Sparkle, set this movie up for high expectations. The movie marks Sparks’ debut as well as Houston’s fifth and final film before her death earlier in 2012. With a list of actors that includes Derek Luke, Omari Hardwick, Tamela Mann and Mike Epps; names alone raise the stakes for the predicted outcome of this film.
Unfortunately, Sparkle didn’t quite shine as some might have anticipated.
The movie began quickly and took its audience on quite the rollercoaster. It was full of tear jerking moments and high spirited music, but so much was going on more than half the movie seems to be a blur. The timeline seemed to be rushed and the transitioning of things was sometimes indistinct. The climax of the movie almost seems over dramatic. But the ending scene does help bring the movie home to the one moment in the movie no one will be able to forget.
While the movie is named after the lead character Sparkle, played by Sparks, ultimately it’s Sister, played by Carmen Ejogo, who steals the spotlight. Similar to the original, Sister ends up getting the bigger chunk of the storyline dedicated to her than Sparkle. And although it seems Houston doesn’t speak a great deal or perform in the film, her moments on camera still manage to make a statement without her doing much.
Despite all the down falls that could be named in this movie, ultimately the music helps to save the film. The music was memorable with classics from the original such as ‘Giving Him Something he can Feel’ and ‘Hooked on Your Love’.
True, the original movie could’ve used some work and so can the remake. However, the remake does just enough to make sure at the least you aren’t bored while watching the film.
By all means, there’s no doubt the movie will still manage to do well because of the popular names attached to the starring roles. Most people will genuinely enjoy the film and be swept away by Houston’s performance of ‘His Eye is on The Sparrow,’ but the movie in totality lacks cohesiveness leaving it lack luster.