Chicago James Brown Motown Revue at the Whiskey A-Go-Go Dreamgirls Dream Girls
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Some girls sing some boring song.

Dreamgirls
Review written by: Alex Sandell

Dreamgirls is a poorly written film with poorly written songs and almost no character development. Eddie Murphy -- giving the performance of his life -- is still horribly miscast in the movie.  He's just too old and when he's hitting on the young girls toward the beginning of the film he comes off as someone you'd see on NBC's despicable exploitation program, To Catch a Predator.

And Eddie's the best part of the film.

This discombobulated mess of a movie goes from having the characters acting their parts in dramatic fashion and restricting their singing to songs performed entirely on stage to abruptly having them sing actual lines of dialogue off-stage -- as though halfway through the movie the people behind the camera decided they no longer liked the realistic approach the film was taking and decided to move in a entirely different direction.  It's jarring filmmaking and one would expect better from Bill Condon, screenwriter of the superb Chicago and director of Dreamgirls.

But people don't go to musicals for the dialogue, do they?  They don't buy their tickets for the realism, right?  They go for the songs!  Sadly, Dreamgirls falls far short in that department as well.  The music is "safe" to the point of being bland and the bulk of the tunes are such timid wanna-be Motown numbers, it's not even funny. 

Someone thought a couple of the songs were classy enough to run close to 10 minutes.  This includes the "showstopper" that Hollywood Golden Girl Jennifer Hudson belts out.  Some are praising this number as the greatest thing since sliced bread ready made with peanut butter and jelly, but frankly it came off as nothing more than someone having a temper-tantrum.  3 minutes in, I wanted her to shut the hell up, already.  5 minutes in, I was wondering if she was constipated and just needed to take one whopper of a shit.  8 minutes in I had a migraine and wished I had brought some Excedrin with me to the screening.

Want good R&B music with singers whose talent got them noticed, rather than some awful reality show? Check out Standing in the Shadows of Motown. Want a good recent musical? Rent or buy Chicago. Want a decent musical biopic? Give Walk the Line a try. Want tepid, safe and generic songs? Turn on the television and watch the current season of "American Idol." If you want a good movie, avoid Dreamgirls like the plague.  It's the most over-hyped film of the year.

Agree? Disagree? Considering Hare Krishna? Email Alex!

On a scale of 1-10?

4

What does this rating mean?  Everyone rates things differently.  Your "5" could be my "7," or vice-versa.  Find out what MY rating means by clicking here

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