Synopsis: Falllen on hard times, the small town of Pacashau, Georgia are counting on the Divinity Church Choir to lift their spirits by winning the National Joyful Noise Competition. Vi Rose Hill, their newly appointed director, wants to stick with their tried-and-true traditional style, while the fiery G.G. Sparrow thinks tried-and-true translates to tired-and-old.
The arrival of G.G.’s rebellious grandson, Randy, shakes things up even more. Randy has an ear for music...and an eye for Vi Rose’s beautiful and talented daughter, Olivia. The sparks between the two teenagers cause more friction between G.G. and Vi Rose.
If these two strong-willed women can put aside their differences for the good of the people in their town, they—and their choir—may make the most joyful noise of all.
The actors sell it. Jeremy Jordan’s Randy is so instantly smitten with Olivia, which makes the performance a lot more fun than it would have been in the hands of a typical vanilla juvenile. He bounces around and revolves as he talks while good-girl Keke tries unsuccessfully to keep her eyes modestly trained on the ground.
- David Edelstein, NY Magazine
In addition to all this, the film possesses a secret weapon: Jeremy Jordan, who, like Darren Criss of “Glee,” is a phenomenal triple-threat talent, with the kind of effervescent, true-blood showmanship harking back to James Cagney. These guys just love to perform, and that love gloriously transfers itself to the viewer. Jordan, who was absolutely spectacular—near-legendary, really—in the recent, quite wonderful, undeserved Broadway flop Bonnie and Clyde, grabs the screen with his sexy faun face and ardent, natural acting, humanizing all that rote James Dean anguish. And when, in the final competition, he searingly performs Usher’s “Yeah!”, he lifts the movie straight up into blissfully funky movie-musical heaven.
- David Noh, Film Journal
Jordan (TV’s Law & Order), Palmer (Medea Goes to Jail) and Darden (Standing Ovation) are equally impressive. Jordan, an actor to watch, makes his film debut in this film. He can sing, act and projects lots of charisma.
- Diana Saenger, Reviewexpress.com
And Jeremy Jordan, fresh from “Newsies,” adds some city sass as Parton’s grandson.
- Stephen Whitty, NJ Star Ledger
Windy City Live - January 12, 2012