Kernel Rating (out of 5):
MPAA Rating: PG-13 Length: 116 minutes
Age Appropriate for: 13+. Most similar to other female-singer-hardship-stories, like “Dreamgirls,” and has that kind of content. Set during the ’60s and in the entertainment industry, so there’s a fair amount of smoking and drinking, as well as brief cocaine use, and some cursing and ethnic slurs. More prevalent is violence, both relationship abuse and otherwise, and an array of sexual content, including kissing and implied sex scenes.
‘Sparkle’ is getting attention for being Whitney Houston’s last cinematic role before her death earlier this year, but neither she—nor star Jordin Sparks—can make this film feel either groundbreaking or genre-defining. In comparison with the 1976 original, this remake’s so-so acting and threadbare script just can’t get it quite right.
By Roxana Hadadi
Actors act and singers sing, and maybe once in a while you get someone who can do both amazingly well, in exactly the most impactful ways. The late Whitney Houston did it in “The Bodyguard,” really selling an unlikely romance with Kevin Costner in that film, but her last role in “Sparkle” isn’t nearly there. It’s not Houston’s fault that the film is skimpy narratively and repetitive thematically, but “Sparkle” doesn’t really let anyone dazzle as much as they should.