DREAMGIRLS  Bottom line: rent the DVD when it comes out or sneak in to the movie after parking on the street because it ain’t worth the twenty or thirty dollars it will cost you if you take a date. And even worse, the best thing about my movie experience was the chain reaction of a wild BMW commercial that literally detonates on the screen. Then, as if a fortune teller foretold a movie future, we were punished with a desolate display of upcoming bad movies. Get ready to buy some video games for the summer.

Well, I done seen it. I wanted to really like it and up until the end of the first third or so I absolutely loved it. I was flying. I thought I was seeing one of the best movies ever made. Jennifer Hudson dominates the movie in a way that is seldom seen, Eddie Murphy (none of his usual bullshit) and Jamie Foxx are both great, and Danny Glover (on vacation from visiting Castro) is very good as well.


The other girls, especially including the gorgeous Beyonce Knowles, are all the same with no character worth remembering from scene to scene. The tech stuff, meaning the stuff none of us go to a movie to admire (”Gee honey, ain’t this sound track fuckin’ great? I mean you can hear everything everyone is saying like they was standing right next to us,” while copping a feel.), is top of the deck.

Now the not very good at all. The music is tediously similar throughout performed in a loud gospel style dominated by continuous “testifying riffs,” meaning those sudden launches into self indulgent peacock displays of high notes that are supposed to let us know they are spontaneous vocal demonstrations of deep feeling (a love of God in a spiritual), a style used by everyone in the dam movie in every song and it gets very old by the time the tenth musical number is shouted out. The “dancing,” which is no more than the old fifties black rock and roll phony group posing, is energetic, but once again every song exhibits the same dull choreography that finally bored everyone in the fifties. The musical numbers become crashingly dull by what seems like the fifth hour of seeing them.

Some of the things I hate about musicals begin to appear about a third of the way through, especially the dopey “breaking into song for no reason shit” that died out in the forties. After a while the movie takes on the feel of one of those “then I wrote” string of similar songs that are just thrown in there so the “stars” can preen for the camera and shriek another “song.” Jennifer Hudson gets very tiresome showing off the same vocal range in what seems like hours of singing the same song. And then of course the movie had at least ten endings, another example of Hollywood’s new found inability to have an ending to anything.

So I thought the movie spectacularly mind numbing and I found myself wishing the movie would end long before it did. I was sad that I felt that way because most of the parts, if taken separately, are spectacularly good. The problem is that when you string them together there is no movie there.

Bottom line: rent the DVD. 


Anonymous said...

So I too saw the movie...and...you are insane!

Howard said...

Well all I can say is that I've got a hell of a lot of company. Check out Roger Simon over at PJ (an Acad member and writer) and read the twenty or so comments. This is a bad movie. If you liked it, you liked it and you're not alone. But you're not crazy, just different from me.

Anonymous said...


One problem with this movie is that its producers didn't get rights to use any actual Motown songs.