Sunday, August 19, 2012

Change Is A Good Thing: Sparkle 2012

Ok so, I have a confession to make.  When I heard that Hollywood was set to remake the movie Sparkle, I was soooo disappointed. Jordin Sparks as Sparkle?  Whitney Houston as Effe?  I said to myself, self (I call myself 'self'), "Why would anyone want to touch that movie.  Like, why???"  Because...the original version of Sparkle is everything. EVERYTHING. 

It's my favorite movie of all time. I fell in love with it as a kid and I've been in love with it ever since. The story. The characters. The music. They should have called it "Unforgettable" because once you see it, you'll never, ever forget it. The original movie was released in 1976. Over 35 years later, here comes the remake....

Sparkle 2012.  Two-thumbs up!  Brava!  Yeeeessss!      

The remake vs. the original - are there similarities?  Sure.  Is the remake entertaining?  Absolutely.  But, this is a very different movie.  You'll see three sisters who want to sing.  An overprotective mother.  Conflict and consequences.  But, it is....different.  And like most remakes, this version isn't a soulless carbon copy.     

The 2012 story line isn't nearly as gritty as the original.  The characters are familiar, but more flawed and endearing. The music is so freakin' dope (R. Kelly produced the soundtrack)!  And yes, the ending is predictable.  But the road to get there had twists and turns that were layered, complex and full of surprises. 

And Whitney?  One word:  Awesome.  (That being said though, I was totally not prepared in any way to hear her voice.)  Her version of "His Eye Is On The Sparrow?" Jesus. You could hear a pin drop in the theater.  Beautiful.    

As I write this post, I'm having a huge slice of humble pie. Silly me.  My expectations for this film were extremely low. I mean really, does Hollywood ever get it right when it comes to remakes?  Not often.  But, I believe in giving credit where credit is due.

This adaptation of the original Sparkle stands on its own. It's a refreshing bright light in a world that believes that reality TV "stars" and Madea are authentic representations of my community.  It's not perfect, but it is inspirational. And it's a great reminder that change is good, if it's in the right direction.  

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