I've been anxiously waiting to see "Joyful Noise" since I first heard about it. Two of my favorite singers were going to be in the same movie, and, no, I'm not talking about Queen Latifah.
I heard Karen Peck Gooch talk about the movie when I saw Karen Peck and New River in Searcy this summer. It's such an exciting opportunity for her and for southern gospel music that she has this kind of national exposure. I think it's even more exciting that she was approached about the movie by a director who's probably not a big fan of southern gospel but was researching the genre for the movie. I think she was a great choice to represent southern gospel and to be a featured vocalist in the movie.
I finally got the chance to see it Sunday afternoon. And I loved it! In case you don't know, it's about a small-town church choir that competes in regional and national choir competitions. Dolly Parton's character, GiGi Sparrow, lost her husband who was the choir director. Vi Rose, who is portrayed by Queen Latifah, gets the job of the choir director instead of GiGi. GiGi's grandson comes back into town with new ideas for the choir and designs on Vi Rose's daughter. The music from the choir competitions is fantastic! It's definitely evident from viewers how the soundtrack has been number one!
Karen's part is at the end of the movie during the national competition. She explains about her role at the beginning of the clip above. Her amazing soprano voice shines through her performance. There is a little more to her part than the clip that has been circulating in recent weeks.
When I heard some negative comments about the movie, I was a little surprised. Yes, there is some language in the movie, but most of the time other characters will jump in to say something about it. Remember it's a Hollywood movie. What other Hollywood movies do you find cussing being so directly frowned on? No, it's not the most realistic plot line, but again it's a movie. It's fiction; it's ok.
While it's not a Christian movie, but there are Christian themes throughout the movie. Don't go expecting something like "Facing the Giants" or "Fireproof." But God is evident throughout the movie. Queen Latifah's character, Vi Rose, is probably the most strong in her faith. She is portrayed at times as "holier than thou," but she has some moving speeches that show how real God is and how He works in our lives. One of the most touching scenes in the movie for me was between Vi Rose and her son, Walter, where he wants to hate God and questions why God works the way He does. I think through that conversation real truths about God become evident to the audience.
I would definitely recommend going to see the movie. We laughed and cried all within the span of two hours. Dolly Parton will definitely give you some one-liners that you'll want to use in the future!
Where else do you get to see a southern gospel singer featured in such a great platform?
In the clip above, Karen also shares how she was able to talk to Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah about their faith. Not only is Karen getting to be a light for southern gospel through this movie, she also got to shine as a light for Christ while on set!