Sparkle is a remake of the 1976 film of the same name. The film is set in the 1960’s about three sisters that form a girl group and on their rise to fame, things become challenging as the close-knit family begins to fall apart. Sparks plays Sparkle, the quiet, good girl who writes the songs for the group, Tiki Sumpter(Gossip Girl, The Game) plays the sister who has other plans and only joins the group to help her sisters and make some money to go to medical school and the beautiful Carmen Ejogo (Sally Hemings: An American Scandal; Lackawanna Blues) plays Sister, the Diana Ross like lead singer of the group. Whitney Houston, in her last role, plays the overbearing single mother who is a recovering addict and doesn’t want will do everything in her power for her girls to not to end up down the path she went.
Many people will say this is a Dreamgirls rip-off. Not quite. The original Sparkle was released before the original Dreamgirls and kind of served as a blueprint on what to do and not do when they made another movie loosely based on the Supremes. It’s not a Dreamgirls copy but since that was the last girl group biopic that came out, it’s going to get the comparisons. It’s not as good as Dreamgirls, but it is a solid movie. Jordin Sparks, in her first acting role, is perfectly fit as Sparkle. Sparks natural innocence and good girl nature are pretty much perfect for this part. I don’t know why she isn’t bigger than she is because her voice is soooo great. Houston is not in the film as much as they made you believe but her parts were pretty well acted. Whitney has always been a better than ok actress so it was kind of nice to see that even after all the years of craziness that she had been through, she still had it in her to give a good slightly melodramatic performance. Carmen Ejogo is so stunning and a great actress. She plays Sister so well.
Sparkle is not perfect but its pretty good and worth seeing at least to watch Whitney tear up a rendition of “His Eyes on A Sparrow.” It just gets to you. So powerful.
Sparkle is in theaters today.