08:59 PM EDT 10/16/2013

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Sparkle

Credit: Sony
Sparkle Lacks Shine, Says PEOPLE's Movie Critic | Jordin Sparks, Whitney Houston

Sparkle Lacks Shine: The PEOPLE Review

Originally posted 08/17/2012 08:40AM

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I walked in hoping Sparkle would be reminiscent of Dreamgirls – another flashy remake about a singing trio in the 1960s with show-stopping musical performances, glittering gowns and, well, sparkle. That was not the case. Not even close.

Jordin Sparks plays Sparkle, a meek songwriter in Detroit with a secret ambition to be "bigger than Diana [Ross]." Though her controlling mother (the late Whitney Houston, in her final performance), has forbidden her from going into music, Sparkle secretly convinces her sisters, Dolores (Tika Sumpter) and Sister (Carmen Ejogo), to form a trio.

After their first taste of success, the women grapple with the darker side of fame – in other words, the clichéd battle with drugs and an abusive man.

While the film's melodrama is laughable (after Sister's comedian beau, played by Mike Epps, flops at a club, the two run – in slow-motion – to the car), the real problem is that it's unclear who the main character is supposed to be.

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Whitney Houston's Final Movie Trailer, For Sparkle, Revealed

Originally posted 04/02/2012 02:15PM



The movie musical Sparkle, which stars Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston, tells the story of the rise of a Supremes-like group in the '60s. And though it's not due out in theaters until this summer, its trailer was released Monday. (Watch above.)

"Was my life not a cautionary tale for you?" Houston, as the mother of Sparks's character, tells her aspiring singer daughter. The brief film clip reveals that Houston's character had been a vocalist in her day, though she never reached the heights that daughter Sparkle want to achieve.

Houston appears in the trailer both elegantly coiffed and tailored as well as in a bathrobe and curlers – looking focused and together in the former, and hazy and out of it in the latter.

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