Movie review from The Movie Snob
Dreamgirls (B-). Being a fan of musicals, I wanted to like this movie more than I did. The story is a promising one. A struggling black girl band in 1960’s Detroit teams up with a used-car salesman who has dreams of being a music mogul. And although they do eventually conquer the pop charts, there are some casualties along the way. The Dreamettes’ manager, Curtis Taylor, Jr. (Jamie Foxx, Ray), softens the rough edges of the Dreamettes’ R&B roots and ruthlessly demotes the most talented singer, Effie (Jennifer Hudson, Sex and the City), to back-up while elevating the more appealing (to whites) Deena Jones (Beyoncé Knowles, The Pink Panther) to the lead. The story is good, the performances are fine, but the movie falls short. It is a little long, and it feels more than a little too long. The songs are not memorable, and they often don’t feel integrated into the story. One exception is Hudson’s central performance of “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going,” which drew applause in the middle of the showing I saw. And the ending worked well for me. But on the whole, I was a little disappointed.