Sparkle is most notably Whitney Houston’s last movie….released posthumously. It is a remake of the 1976 film by the same name staring Irene Cara (of Fame fame). This version stars Jordin Sparks (yes, that’s her name) the American Idol winner from 2006. Whitney Houston is the bedraggled Mom and Carmen Ejogo plays “Sister”, the sexy, sultry lead singer with a serious drug and self-respect problem. Now who does that sound like… Oh, yeah, poor Whitney. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED Whitney’s singing and even her acting….The Bodyguard remains a favorite. But someone with that sort of array of problems should NOT act in a movie where she plays a matronly has-been or never-was and watches the young up-and-comers blossom and/or crash bad burn. Sounds like too much reality for a Saturday night as they say.
The film was directed by Salim Akil and it was only OK at best. It was mildly entertaining with a few good musical pieces and songs. The writer was Akil’s wife Mara Brock and this family affair ends up being, well, very tame and family-friendly. They even use the term (Whitney actually says it) that his is a cautionary tale for youngsters thinking that the path to glory only runs through Motown. Derek Luke (Antoine Fisher) continues to impress me as a serious actor……there is something about him that screams…..serious.
Now Sparkle only gets a 55 Metascore and deserves little more. I did liken this tale to the story of the hedge fund analyst who’s afraid to execute on her ideas so she let’s the traders get all the glory…until they crash on the rocky shoals of success. So the moral of the story is….better to take the risk and grab for he brass ring yourself than stand by and watch others make a mess of your ideas.
As for Whitney, I’m sorry this was her swan song…she deserved better.
Rest in Peace, Whitney.