Question: how amazing is the trailer for Joyful Noise?

Thursday January 5th 2012

Answer: very amazing. As if the mere concept of a movie starring Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah as rival choir directors wasn’t appetite-whetting enough, Warner Brothers have gone ahead and released a trailer for the film that is — by all accounts — completely fucking insane.

Let’s take a closer look:

First we meet Parton’s character. It’s not entirely clear what her name is so for the purposes of this exercise let’s call her Babs. Babs has been called into a meeting with a pastor to find out who’s got the ‘position’, which we can safely assume means ‘the choir director job’. Babs says, “I think I know where this is going,” betraying a level of self-assuredness which may or may not be about to shatter before her very eyes.
“We’ve decided to offer the position to Vi Rose Hill,” says the pastor, which must refer to either a human being or a light Chardonnay.
From her delighted “Thank you pastor!” we take it that Queen Latifah is Vi Rose Hill, unless she’s thanking the pastor on behalf of the young boy behind her. In fact, thinking about it, I can see no other reason for his presence so let’s assume that he is Vi Rose Hill and call Queen Latifah’s character Marge.
Babs, who’s somehow managed to change into a frilly yellow blouse in the six and a half seconds since we last saw her, is distraught.
“They live in the same small town…” the voiceover tells us, which makes sense because they were both hoping to get the same choir director job and it’s not really the sort of thing you’d want to commute for. This geographical proximity inflames the rivalry between the two women and despite Marge’s defence that she didn’t ask to be made choir director, at 0:24 Babs makes the sound of a chair being dragged across a basketball court to indicate her anger.
“They share the same big dreams…” Flash forward and Marge is ‘choir directing’ live on stage in front of an unrealistically massive audience.
Her choir sound reasonably choir-y to me, but two men in the audience appear slightly bored so Marge brings the performance to a halt. This just isn’t good enough, she seems to say, as she flaps her big purple arms all over the place.
“We gotta shake ’em up!” suggests Babs, and so Marge sets about adding stupid gimmicks to the choir’s performances, namely an increase in booty shaking. She knows it’s not the answer though, and her insistence that a fellow chorister gets ‘her Beyonce’ out of Marge’s face is both an inventive, original pop cultural reference and a slamming indictment of her foolish attempts to sex up the choir.
Luckily, just as all hope seems lost, an arrogant, jive-talking Jeremy Piven-a-like named Randy shows up and turns their luck around. We see him singing to himself in some kind of enormous valley, which tells us that he’s deeply connected to Mother Earth. He also likes a bit of a swear.
The choir are duly shocked.
Luckily, he’s also one of only a small handful of people on Earth with Auto-Tune pre-installed in his vocal chords, and he soon wins over the choir with his terrifying, non-human self-harmonising.
“He’s completely changed the way the choir sings! Who knows what he’ll do next?” protests the pastor, after Randy breaks every rule in book by getting them to sing Man in the Mirror.
Suddenly we move, without explanation, to a scene in which Babs tells Marge: “I am who I am”. “Maybe you were five precedures ago” comes the retort. This is, I think you’ll agree, a mighty zing.
Babs gets angry and throws a bucket of ice that she was apparently holding at Marge.
“Who cares if I’ve got a few little nips and tucks? God didn’t make plastic surgeons so they could starve.” This is obviously the best line in the movie.
Things are getting a little silly now, so it’s time to introduce Marge’s daughter, who has lots of ’emotions’. “This isn’t about that! This is about me!” she wails, invisible tears pouring from her strained face.
Now Marge has Babs in a headlock.
“Put that online,” she instructs a nearby man who is taking pictures on his iPhone for some reason.
Queen Latifah
Dolly Parton
The first law of Hollywood trailers dictates that you need one funny bit directly before the movie title and one directly after. Here, we see Marge’s daughter telling Randy “don’t look at my butt, I’m a good girl.”
But he looks at it anyway! LOL, he’s imagining having sexual intercourse with her. Possibly anal.
And finally, we see Babs flailing around a bit, presumably attempting to scratch Marge’s gigantic breasts.
“Quit it with those nails, Edward Scissorhands!” shouts Marge, which is funny because it’s still 1991.