Thursday, January 11, 2007

Dreamgirls we're your Dreamgirls...well...kind of

I started this post forever ago (last year) but I finished it, and I wanted it to rise to the here's the post (circa Dec 27th, 2006) with my conclusion, enjoy:

My sister and I went to see the movie "Dreamgirls" this weekend, and it was dreamilicious. For the most part.

So there's Effie, Deena, and Lorell (who's name I didn't know until 2/3 of the way through) who make up the girl-group The Dreamettes. They're in Detroit and working their way into a talent competition, when they get discovered by a Used car Salesman, Curtis Taylor Jr. (Jamie Foxx--b/c 2 Xs are better than 1). The girls are asked to sing back-up for the Detroit legend James"Thunder" Early (played by Eddie Murphy) for his upcoming tour.

Musical number, montage, musical number, montage.

When Curtis learns that Early's brand of R&B is too black for the larger white audiences he's trying to appeal to. He starts the girls off in their own club act in Miami starting a whirlwind of press coverage and pop chart success with Deena singing lead. This rubs the diva, Effie, the wrong way. She's always sang lead for the group and her voice is inherently stronger. Curtis and C. C. (Effie's younger brother and the group's songwriter) convince her that Deena's voice is better for the white pop audiences and smooths out the sound of her brassy gospel voice.

Eventually, Effie's ego gets the better of her and she despises singing back-up to Deena's softer lead. She storms off a set and returns a few days later to find herself replaced in the group. This is the scene where Jennifer Hudson/Effie looses it. It's absolutely amazing. Just when you think Effie's going to break down, she keeps singing, and keeps pleading. But more on that later...

Musical number, montage, musical number, montage.

A few years later...bang bang bang boom boom boom...Effie's got a daughter and is down on her luck, all she knows how to do is sing. Meanwhile, Early is struggling to get Curtis to allow him to find a new sound and a new image that reflect him. Curtis just sees an old washed up R&B star and doesn't allow him to record new stuff. Deena's trying to break out of the shell that Curtis has molded for her as "America's Sweetheart" and wants to take a new edgy role in a movie. Curtis' ego grows and grows. Annnnd...I'll let you see the end.

My Opinion

Take it or leave it, but its what I think.

Generally speaking, I liked the movie. But I felt like it was one LONG music video, part of that is the musical part of it, Rent was kind of like that too. But I felt like most of the music didn't really help move the story along, necessarily. Don't get me wrong, the music was great and costumes and special effects amazing, I'm sure it was a great stage show. I didn't feel like the storytelling was right.

I loved the Costumes, gorgeous. I love the make-up and hair design, gorgeous. Loved the music, loved the choreography.

I just didn't like how the story was told. The audience was always held an arm's length away from what was really going on. I wanted to get into the character's heads more. The story moved around so much between Effie, Curtis and the other characters that it was hard to determine who's the lead. Frankly, I didn't think Beyonce was the female lead, Jennifer Hudson was.

And the Jennifer Hudson/Effie huge musical number was absolutely amazing! I just about cried. The minute you think it's over, she keeps singing and digging the whole she stays in for 10 years.

Conclusion: Wait for more Oscar buzz, or just wait for the DVD.

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