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.
Jennifer Hudson is truly amazing. She steals the movie. Beyonce put in a good performance, but she looks like the back-up through out the whole movie. Eddie Murphy also puts in a fine performance. Jamie Fox and the rest of the cast provide a strong supporting background for the movie.
If they were alive today I am quite sure that Rogers and Hammerstein, Loerner and Lowe and all the others who brought us the great American musicals of the 1940's and 1950's would stand up and cheer for "Dreamgirls". For this is a film steeped in the tradition of those fabulous M-G-M musicals of days gone by. Executive Producer Patricia Whitcher pushed all of the right buttons in assembling an incredibly talented ensemble that makes "Dreamgirls" … more
"Dreamgirls" A Dream of a Film Amos Lassen and Cinema Pride What can I say about "Dreamgirls" that has not already been said? It is not just a movie, it's an experience. From the moment that the movie starts, you are dazzled by performances with passion, wonderful staging, amazing direction and the costumes...what can I say? It is an emotional spectacle even though the storyline is not new and the clichés are well...clichés but … more
Pros: Jennifer Hudson! Beyonce, Foxx's acting, bring-down-the-house numbers, costumes Cons: pacing, Eddie Murphy's character, some duller songs The Bottom Line: All I want for Christmas is Jennifer Hudson's voice. Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. When Jennifer Hudson was voted off of American Idol during the 2004 season, my mother and I were so devastated that we vowed to never watch … more
Pros: Outstanding performance by Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson. Cons: Nothng. The Bottom Line: Can you hear the sound of my clapping, the joyous call of my delighted whistle? Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. There are few movies I have seen this yearand I have seen quite a fewthat can measure the emotional fulfillment of Dreamgirls. The movie is after all about music, the … more
Pros: Murphy Cons: Songs can drag on a bit to long. The Bottom Line: For Murphy alone, this film is a must see. Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot. The rise of Motown records is one of the music industries greatest tales. Berry Gordy Jr. in 1959 established the record label that not only made stars of numerous talents such as Diana Ross and the Supremes and the Jackson 5, but helped African … more
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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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...