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So, is Dreamgirls any good?

No, it's pretty bad.

But it got a 78% on the Tomatometer!

I think those people are idiots.

But James Berardinelli said that "Dreamgirls is a wonderful entertainment: a musical that, while not skimping on the music, delivers a multi-layered storyline featuring complex characters."

Please. It's way too long, the characters are clichés, so is the plot. (Infidelity, drug abuse, self-destructive jealousy, ambition, greed. It's like they have a checklist.) With one exception—see below—acting is from bad to mediocre. (It's nice that Jennifer Hudson won an Oscar, but—c'mon.)

But the music is good, right?

No, it's beyond awful. It's allegedly supposed to be 60's and 70's-style Motown. It doesn't sound like that at all. The lyrics are insipid.
We are a family
Like a giant tree
Branching out towards the sky
We are a family
We are so much more than just you and I
We are a family
Like a giant tree
Arrrgh! Shut up!

If you get trapped into watching this movie, my suggestion is to build a Holland/Dozier/Holland playlist on your iPod, and when someone starts singing in the movie, turn the video volume down, and your iPod volume up. I would rather listen to "Baby Love" 200 times in a row than any of these songs ever again.

[Update: OK, one exception.]

But you gave the movie two stars?

Two words: Eddie Murphy. When he's on the screen, Dreamgirls becomes a different movie. A much better one. Is there any way to program your DVD player to just show the Eddie Murphy scenes? Do that.

Last Modified 2012-10-19 1:31 PM EDT