Don't you just love it when a movie is all you expected and a WHOLE lot more? You would think that with the star power of Eddie Murphy, Jamie Foxx and Beyonce that "Dreamgirls" already had high hopes. Not to mention that it was interpreted from an already extremely successful Broadway musical. Still, I had no idea what I was in for.
I had heard somewhere that the story was based VERY loosely off the real-life Supremes and a little bit of Motown's humble beginnings. It didn't matter if that was the case or not. So far, every movie I've seen with the premise of tracing a music group's ascension to stardom and the bumps along the way always seem to fascinate me for some reason.
With all the stars that are strewn throughout this movie, there is one person that gives "Dreamgirls" its heart AND soul. Former American Idol standout Jennifer Hudson. There's a moment about 3/4 the way thru the film when she busts out Jennifer Holiday's "And I Am Telling You". I never would have thought anyone could carry that like Holiday but she BLEW IT UP. They could have ended the film right there with that performance. It's a good thing they didn't though because she comes through again at the end and rips it up with the song "Dreamgirls".
There has only been one other film I've been to where the audience actually applauded at the end: "The Empire Strikes Back" - 1980. Personally, I have never understood that concept because it's not like we're at the premiere or as if any of the people responsible for the movie can hear you clapping for them. However, when they roll the end credits and show each actor/actress one by one and show Hudson's name, you almost had to applaud. Who cares if she wasn't there to hear it. The gal was unbelievably phenomenal.
It's also good to have Eddie back. I don't mean back on the big screen after a few years, I mean the old Eddie from our day of his "Raw" and early "Beverly Hills Cop" lore. It's the unedited adult-oriented Eddie that my generation grew up with before he started appealing to our shorties with his family fare.
Simply put, "Dreamgirls" was amazing. I left the theater awestruck. Any expectation I had set for that movie based was so far surpassed that it seemed inconceivable. I had heard that the original play had come to Des Moines and I could kick myself for not going to it, no matter how long ago it may have been. I know I won't be missing it the next time it comes thru. Don't let this treasure pass you by.
My rating: A+