Jan 14, 2007
This movie reminded of the excellent The Five Heartbeats, only much more slick-looking and about the rise of a girl group (like The Supremes) as opposed the the rise of a guy group (like The Temptations). So I was definitely curious to see it.
And even though it's about The Dreams, it's Eddie Murphy that steals the movie. Murphy plays James "Thunder" Early, a popular R&B singer who can't quite break onto the pop charts. You could totally tell Eddie Murphy was channeling his inner James Brown to play the character. They could have made the whole movie about Jimmy Early and I would have been happy.
Not only does this movie have "performance" songs (where the characters perform in front of an audience in the movie), but also "musical"-style songs (where characters spontaneously burst into song at random moments).
The musical numbers were a problem for me. We're a good 40-minutes or so into the movie when the first musical-style song hits, and it's very distracting. Up to that point, all the music was performed on stage, or in rehearsal, or in a montage -- but to all of a sudden have a character sing the words, "what about me?" when that style hadn't been established from the get-go, made me (and other people in the audience) go, "huh?"
Even worse, the BIG number of the movie--the huge, emotional, moment where Jennifer Hudson's character should be blowing the roof off the theater, ...falls flat. And it's because even though it's a heartbreaking love song, you don't feel it. Her character and Jamie Foxx's character were supposed to be in love, but the most you ever saw him do was give her a peck on the cheek. So you're like, "they were in love?"
Whatever. At least Eddie Murphy was awesome.