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A movie directed by Bill Condon

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Great musical, but only a good movie

  • Jun 3, 2007
For all the importance of music within African-American history, musicals used to be a whites-only genre in Hollywood. Then came Queen Latifah's role in Chicago in 2002, followed by the hit Ray in 2005. But whereas Latifah had only a supporting role in Chicago, and Ray was more a drama with great music, this movie is truly a musical in every sense of the word, with all the major roles played by African-Americans. The story is of three women in Detroit who grow up as childhood friends and become international pop stars. Along the way, they meet men, become rich, break up, and finally reunite at the end of the movie. The casting is great, and includes both older (Eddie Murphy and Danny Glover) and younger (Jennifer Hudson and Jamie Foxx) stars. Many of them turn in great musical performances, and my personal favorite is Eddie Murphy, who puts in one dazzling stage show after another. The movie portrays multiple facets of the celebrity life such as betrayal, substance abuse, sexual rivalries, money-grubbing, contractual disputes, and the ever present dumbing down of content to increase sales. The movie makes occasional references to race issues.

As a musical, the music pieces ranged from good to great. Their placement in the movie however, was not the best. The movie broke out in music during proper music scenes, like during the scenes of performances. But the movie also had songs during "non-music" scenes. For example, many conversations became singing scenes. Unfortunately, the most heartfult songs; those with the most emotion, fell into the latter category, whereas the the stage performance songs sounded like generic pop hits. This might have been done on purpose, as a reflection of the character Curtis's belief that the music has to be superficial and shallow enough to please all crowds. But it detracted from the movie as half the songs had little heart but too much glitz. This, and the constant replacement of dialogue with music was probably why this movie did not receive the Best Picture nomination at the Academy Awards. My belief is that it is a better musical than Ray (also starring Jamie Foxx), but had nowhere near the heart or emotional punch to it.

This DVD is fairly straightforward; movie plus extra scenes. I just wished the DVD came with an option of playing the movie with all the extra scenes added into it.

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Newton Ooi ()
Hi everyone, so here is the rundown of me. I like reading and writing, nonfiction for both. I love movies, especially original ones. I like nonfiction music, eating out, and basketball. I love to travel, … more
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About this movie


The 1982 Tony-Award-winning musical DREAMGIRLS shimmies its way to the big screen with a stellar cast and undeniable sheen. Set in 1960s Detroit, DREAMGIRLS follows the commercial and cultural struggles of the R&B recording industry, through the rise of the Dreamettes (later shortened to just the Dreams) from backup singers to headlining international superstars. The trio--Deena (Beyonci Knowles), Effie (Jennifer Hudson), and Lorrell (Anika Noni Rose)--soon discover the harsh reality behind the glamour of fame and fortune, as the group's controlling and shady manager, Curtis Taylor Jr. (Jamie Foxx), uses them to help build his musical empire and capture his dream of crossing over from R&B to the pop charts. He sacrifices Effie's immense talent as lead singer for Deena's stunning, more mainstream look to sell the sound, pushing marketable appeal over musical artisanship--and compromising the ambitions of his protigis. <br> <br> Since its Broadway debut, DREAMGIRLS has been widely rumored to be inspire...
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Director: Bill Condon
Genre: Music, Musical
Release Date: December 15, 2006
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: Paramount Home Entertainment (May 01, 2007)
Runtime: 2hr 10min1 sec
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