Whitney Is Really Good In Sparkle

Categories: Film

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Whitney Houston is the best thing in Sparkle, the remake of the 1976 girl-group melodrama which was sort of the original Dreamgirls.

As her daughters aim for pop stardom in late '60s Detroit, Whitney's mama character cracks a whip and demands respect, education, and most of all, faith.

She's an ex singer herself, who was knocked up at 16 and went through hard times and rough behavior, emerging from it with a bible and some hard truths.

So when one daughter brings some creep home and says they're engaged, Whitney's eyes flare as she snarls, "Child...you want to whore with that coon!"

When the daughter furiously answers with the supposed horror story of Whitney's character's own low points, Whitney replies, "You never ever ever saw me laying in my vomit!"

Her acting is really strong--and she even gets to do a rousing "His Eye Is On The Sparrow" in a church scene, her character getting to evolve in a way that will have you choking back tears.

The whole movie is about Whitney, even when she's not on, because it's a monument to what she could do--and could have done--as well as an unwitting echo of the dangers of singers' druggy behavior, not to mention the way the church can inhibit such people from full expression and happiness.

Otherwise, the film's melodramatics can be hamfisted, the new songs aren't nearly good enough, and Jordin Sparks doesn't seem waiflike enough to play the virginal ingenue.

But while I prefer Irene Cara and Lonette McKee in the original version, that one didn't have Whitney, who goes out in a blaze of glory.

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9 comments
behindthescenes
behindthescenes

Im glad Whitney gets credit for doing her best but your review sucks MUSTO .The entire reason other than to get some cheap thrills from seeing Whitney Houston is actress / singer Carmen Ejogo who STOLE the movie and the real star of this film .Im sure she showed up to the set on time as well .Up until the end with the choice of song romancing smack "Sister Cant Fly On One Wing" with a cliche gospel back up choir. WTF was this the student film section. Ruth Carters costumes were great to see in places but The Red Gown In the ending was all wrong for that song .

 

 

 

CafeMuscato
CafeMuscato

This kind of major posthumous feels so odd - is it the first since James Dean, or am I missing someone (decorative but minor early-passers like Jon-Erik Hexum and Dorothy Stratten not included)?

musto
musto moderator

Interestingly, the first Sparkle was sort of the original Dreamgirls. But now this remake unwittingly comes off as a bit of a rehash of Dreamgirls, just because of the timing. No one's fault, just a fact.

latenitebump
latenitebump

honey! i read the audience was moved to tears when whitney sang. of course, i will see it. liked the original plus the soundtrack written and produced by the late curtis mayfiled. studio recording sung by areatha franklin. the entire soundtrack album sung by aretha is flawless.

giving him something he can feel. number one on billboard´s hot soul singles chart. 1976. i know that´s right.

look into your heart. over soundtrack.

funny, how they did the music twice. once for the film (irene cara) and then re-recorded by the queen of soul: studio.

fechtech
fechtech

@Coops_tv @mikeymusto it looks amazing. I think the part of close to home for Whitney so she'll give it her all

DDTL10
DDTL10

@mikeymusto I'm glad you liked the 1976 version.I also do.I can't believe that people hardly know about it! I will see this remake too.

bwaybill
bwaybill

Along with "Child you want to whore with that coon!" This could be the black Valley of the Dolls.

bwaybill
bwaybill

"You never ever ever saw me laying in my own vomit!" will obviously become a classic line.

latenitebump
latenitebump

 @behindthescenes 

i didn't see the movie yet but the red gowns was a signature statement for the girls in the original film with irene cara!

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