Dreamgirls, the famous broadyway show started when I was only 1 and growing up in a small town in a chinese community… I barely heard of the name being mentioned.
So when exactly did I hear about Dreamgirls? Hemm… it was when LB couldn’t stop showing his affection towards this show that caught me interested and wanting to find out more. Just as I did… I notice they really do carry big stars with them. And yes… musical, music + movie… what could be better than a perfect combo? So I guess I should enjoy it. But did I?
The girls were late for the show as Deena gotta sneak out from her house only after her grandmother went to bed. They were actually taken off the list since they were late. However it’s their lucky day when they bump into Curtis Taylor Jr. (Jamie Foxx). Curtis is a Cadillac dealer who is trying hard to be a someone in the music business. Hence, Curtis help get The Dremettes to perform.
The Dremettes blown the crowd with their performance. Trying to keep The Dremettes for his own use, he somewhat bet on a 50 that they won’t win the talent show. Indeed they didn’t and they were quickly disappointed with the fact that they didn’t win. Curtis then manage to catch up with the girl and strike them with a deal. Deena and Lorrell was jumping around happily when Curtis told them that he will be arranging them to be James “Thunder” Early (Eddie Murphy) backup singers.
Effie of course rejected the offer since she always is the lead and would do nothing but to sing lead. However, after being sweet-talked by Curtis, Effie changed her mind and the girls starts to follow Jimmy to tour around together with Jimmy’s manager, Marty (Danny Glover).
Thinking that Jimmy could do better than what he is doing and trying to get Jimmy appeal to a wider group of audience, Curtis proposed to Jimmy and Marty that they should sing something different. Marty totally rejected the idea and tries to walk out of it… however Jimmy didn’t see eye to eye with Marty. Jimmy and The Dreamettes soon start recording their first song with low budget.
It was a great tune and it proves that Curtis’s instinct about music was right. Within weeks, the song start to hit a wide audience. Just when the song was going famous, the song was credited to the other singer who was much more famous at that point of time. C.C (Keith Robinson), Effie’s brother was angry and frustrated when he noticed someone just practically “stole” their song.
Knowing how the industry runs, Curtis sold of all the Cadillacs and even gamble to double his money cause it’s the key ingrediant to making Jimmy and The Dremettes famous. C.C then continue to write more great songs for them. While in the progress of making them famous, Effie has gotten head over heels over Curtis while Lorrell and Jimmy started an adulterous affair.
Curtis started his own recording label, Rainbow Records. By practicing payola, Curtis manage to get Jimmy and The Dremettes to the charts. On the other side, Marty noticed what Curtis is trying to do to Jimmy and tries to stop it. However Jimmy felt that Curtis is right and decided to follow his direction. This incident draws the line when marty decides to walk out of Jimmy’s life.
Curtis manage to grab a chance for Jimmy and the girls to perform in the Apollo Theater as it is never easy for an African-American to perform there. Jimmy’s act quickly pissed some of the audience off. However some of them were quickly addicted and wanted to see more of the Dremettes. Knowing he could not change Jimmy, Curtis puts his attention to The Dremettes.
Giving them a new look, expensive wig, beautiful cloths, he quickly transform them from The Dremettes to The Dreams. Effie got a shock of her life when her lead singer position was replaced by the beautiful and attractive Deena. What saddens her is when her brother, C.C agrees to Curtis decision as well.
Effie then agrees on the decision after being calmed down by C.C and Curtis saying things are just temporary. The girls was an instant hit when they start with their signature “Dreamgirls” song. From there onwards, they just grew and grew and grew.
When Deena gets most of the limelight and with Curtis getting close to Deena, Effie starts to feel betrayed. She does not kindly that she is now the backup singer and started to act wild and walk out on the group. When Effie failed to turn up on rehersals for The Dreams Las Vegas New Year’s debut, Curtis then decides to replace Effie with Michelle Morris (Sharon Leal).
Effie then showed up on the day of the show, where the girls was having their final rehersal. Effie then noticed she was replaced. She started blaming on Deena and the fight just got real big that it dragged in people like Lorrell, C.C and just everyone. At the end of the argument, Effie finally notice she is now without her girl friends, her man walked out of her life not knowing she is pregnant, her brother walks out on her as well.
The show then jump to the early 1970s where The Dreams continue to bloom. Effie on the other hand was broke and staying in a small home with her 8 years old daughter, Magic (Mariah I. Wilson). On the other side, Deena and Curtis got married and they moved to Los Angeles. Under Curtis, Rainbow Records prosper as well taking in more and more singers. Rainbow Records even try to expand in to the film industry.
Curtis is all out to make Deena the lead in this new version of Cleopetra. Unknown to Curtis, Deena have no interest in taking up the role, instead she secretly meets out other producers trying to take up other roles.
Concentrating on Deena, Curtis has no interest at all in revitalizing Jimmy’s career. It was clearly shown and felt when he just rejects Lorrell and Jimmy’s duet without even listening much to it. Feeling down about his life, career and love life, Jimmy turns to drugs.
Out of a sudden, one wil notice eventually C.C and Michelle is now a couple. C.C still tries to make an effort to contact and send money to Effie, which of course the stubborn Effie refused. Knowing that she can’t continue her life like that, Effie turns to Marty for help.
Knowing some people around, Marty tries to help Effie out. Effie failed Marty out with her selfish and “think she’s all that” attitude. In frustration, Marty told Effie this is her last chance which somehow woke Effie from her sweet dreams and face reality.
Rainbow Records held a ten annivesary show featuring the stars under the recording label. Right before Jimmy’s performance, he and Lorrell was in some arguments when Jimmy’s wife insisted to come watch the show. It somehow become clear to Lorrell that no matter how much they love each other, they both can’t and won’t have a normal relationship. As she tries to talk to Jimmy, he gave an excuse that he have a show to run and walk out of the discussion.
In the middle of Jimmy’s performance, the soulful performer dropped his pants in the middle of the show. The angry Curtis then fires Jimmy from the recording label. To add salt to the wound, Lorrell decides to leave Jimmy at the same time. Just days later after the incident, Jimmy was found dead due to drug overdose.
Frustrated over Curtis actions of changing the beat and taking the soul out of his creations, C.C decides to leave Rainbow Records. C.C then went back to Detroit and search for Effie trying to appologize to her. When she finally does, C.C wrote a song for Effie to sing and it turn out to be a popular hit.
Using his old tricks, Curtis buy out the radio DJ and make them play Deena and The Dreams version of Effie’s song but in a more disco and upbeat tune. When C.C and Effie know what happened, they were angry and frustrated.
Deena fights back when Curtis tries to control her life. She went through Curtis’ drawers only to notice what he has done to Effie’s album and informations about Curtis’ payola scheme. She then calls up Effie to appologize and told Effie the truth. The next day, C.C, Effie and Marty walked in to Rainbow Records together with a lawyer.
When they presented evidence to Curtis’ illegal actions, Curtis work out a deal where Rainbow Records will fund a new label for C.C., which will allow Effie’s record national distribution. While they were working out the deal, Effie and Deena met up where Effie told Deena, Magic is Curtis’ daughter.
Later, Curtis confronted Deena only to find out she is actually tired of being controled by him and decides to leave. Inspired by Effie’s comeback, Deena decides to leave Curtis’ even when he tries to blackmail her saying she would be nothing without him.
As a result of all the drama and arguements, Deena and The Dreams decides to walk on seperate ways and gave a farewell performance. At the ending of the concert, Effie was introduced to everyone else as part of the original The Dreams member. Instead of Deena being the lead, Effie took up the lead singer position singing their signature song “Dreamgirls”.
As much as I like the set up and the glittery bling bling costumes, I somewhat find a lot of sections and plots in the show undeveloped. Things happen was just ina blink of an eye… or probably potrayed as “by the way” these things happened. Lots of filling in the gaps things happened. Not to mention the relationships within the people and circle is complicated and the director just makes it more complicated by leaving out the blanks. Out of a sudden Effie was with Curtis.. out of a sudden Curtis is with Deena without even showing how things bloom. Then out of a sudden Lorrell rejected Jimmy… when out of a sudden they both have and adulterous affair and was madly in love. Out of a sudden C.C is with Michelle.
The musical… ah… it was great however I find some was overly exagerrated especially the part when Effie was being thrown out of the group. I somewhat think it was too overly done and she is trying too hard to prove she is someone who can sing. Not to mention the whole dragging on thing got me so annoyed that I just wish to stand up in the middle of the cinema and say “STOP IT”.
Jennifer Hudson seems to be the main focus and limelight after she won the best supporting actress role. Well… I think she did well,and her gaining 20 pounds for the role is proven to be worthy. However, I think she over do herself in many ways in the movie. Making me felt.. she is good… but annoying and I just have this feeling of not wanting to see more of her anymore.
I don’t know, overall.. I still think this is pretty much a over-hyped movie which will practically died out if it wasn’t for the famous people and big budget.
Dreamgirls was last modified: April 3rd, 2017 by velverse