We just finished watching Dreamgirls. I’ve wanted to see it for the longest time and I was so excited to finally be able to sit down and enjoy a few hours of relaxation.
Even before I sat down to see the movie, I vaguely remembered that one of the actresses was some finalist or something in American Idol. I wasn’t really sure. I don’t follow entertainment news even casually. I didn’t even know why Paris Hilton went to jail. Sam was asking earlier and it was good that Speedy knew and was able to answer. Anyway, I am familiar with Beyonce Knowles and I knew it wasn’t her that was in American Idol. There were three other females in the cast so I figured it must be one of them.
Well, the first half hour or so was fine until Jennifer Hudson sang And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going. Okay, I didn’t know her name at that point. I only knew that the character who sang that song was Effie White. Shucks, I thought I was going to get a headache. Overacting would be a mild way to describe it. Even overkill would be too kind.
It wasn’t until the movie was through and I had a chance to surf the net that I found out that the American Idol — what do you call it, graduate? aspirant? — was none other than Jennifer Hudson and that she played Effie White in the movie. Not that I was surprised. There are belters and there are crooners. I love R&B but, my goodness, I never equated belting with screaming and shouting.
I’m sure that the world was tickled that an American Idol aspirant actually played a Dreamgirl. Kinda like a fairy tale come true. And winning an Oscar award to boot. But, oh, I don’t know. Okay, so she could act. You know, if one likes that kind of performance. I mean, anyone CAN act. But some are good at it; others, not. It was too… oh, I don’t know. If Queen Latifah were younger, she would have done justice to the role. But Jennifer Hudson? I just felt that it was pandering to the popular sentiment of the American masses. Like she was the personification of the American Dream and the Academy just had to give her to the public. Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) and Rinko Kikuchi (Babel) delivered more credible performances — real acting without need for screaming and all that over acting. Read: facial expression and body language.
Despite having to ignore certain parts of the movie, I still enjoyed Dreamgirls. Beyonce Knowles was a class act, Jamie Foxx was totally hateable and Eddie Murphy elicited both sympathy and disgust which really translates to he delivered a good performance. And I still found myself singing along when Deena Jones and the Dreams sang One Night Only.