Dreamgirls (2006)

(In theaters, January 2007) The post-Moulin Rouge! resurgence in movie musicals has been good for adapting Broadway plays to the big screen, and Dreamgirls is the latest to make the transition. As with the other ones, Dreamgirls is an effortlessly enjoyable piece of work, with a good mixture of drama and song and humour. Well, ok, not too much humour: Following the template of Motown’s history, Dreamgirls does the usual VH1 biography scenario and manages to shoehorn a happy ending in there anyway. Beyonce Knowles and Jamie Foxx may be the film’s putative stars, but most of the attention goes to Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson in scene-stealing roles. Otherwise, the other highlight of the film is the “Cadillac Man” sequence, destined to be replayed in high-school classrooms whenever the subject of cultural appropriation comes up. Otherwise, well, there isn’t much to say: The film may not be the Oscar powerhouse everyone was expecting, but it’s good enough and “good enough” seems to be the rule for the new musicals.

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