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Parents' Guide to


By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Whitney Houston's final film has some mature elements.

Movie PG-13 2012 116 minutes
Sparkle Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

Some influential messages, but it definitely isn't for everyone.

It's mixed in with good lessons, but I don't think you could go for a role - model here. The language is REALLY strong for a PG-13 movie, and I mean it. Your teens will be able to handle the violence, and mild sex talks, depending on how you've been talking to them... Yes, there are drugs, drinking, and smoking, but seriously.. is that so bad? This movie isn't for everyone, for people not interested in singing, or drama please spare yourselves and watch something of interest,because,well... it's a pretty lengthy movie.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

It's nearly impossible not to compare Sparkle to Dreamgirls. Both films feature an American Idol veteran in her feature film debut about a Motown-era trio of female singers who must deal with the dangers that accompany showbiz dreams. But whereas Dreamgirls follows the rise and fall of full-blown celebrity, Sparkle focuses solely on the lead-up to fame. With that in mind, Sparkle is a considerably less substantial movie, but it still has several entertaining numbers, a decent debut by Sparks, and a heart-wrenching (and almost prescient) final performance by Houston.

The three sisters are examples of the various paths to stardom: Sparkle is the authentic artist who lives and breathes to write and perform songs, Dolores is talented but is more interested in a professional career as a doctor, and Sister is the materialistic one who wants the bling and attention. Some directorial missteps make Sister and Satin's abusive marriage look borderline comical, but Sparks is well cast as a charmingly self-conscious singer. And, at the very least, Houston is given her last moment to shine on screen. Her emotional performance of the gospel hymn "His Eye Is on the Sparrow" is a highlight of the film -- and a sad reminder that sometimes fame really does kill.

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