By cnw | REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog December 20, 2006 at 4:49AM
Here at Reverse Shot, we care about keeping you up-to-date on all the hottest buzz -- after all, that's our job; we are film critics!-- and so we scraped and saved and sent one of our own (yours truly!) to the hotttest ticket in town (that's 3 t's and 4 stars, if you're counting!): the $25 all exclusive screening of Dreamgirls! And let me tell you: the Ziegfeld hasn't shook from applause like this since the Liza with a Z screening last March!
Okay, in all seriousness, Liza with a Z is the best thing ever. As for Dreamgirls, well... Never mind the nonexistent screenplay or the facile approach to its subject, the biggest problem with Dreamgirls is that the musical numbers -- the disappointing music, the apologetic staging (as if writer-director Bill Condon wants to insist, "Look, they're singing, but it's okay, because now they're onstage!")--are utterly boring and forgettable. It's no wonder people are so effusive about Jennifer Hudson; at least it feels like something is happening when she's onscreen. And let me join the chorus. Hudson is something truly special (her performance of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going", owing exclusively to her considerable talent, was among the most devastating moments of cinema I experienced all year), but she's certainly not perfect -- she can sing, and she can act, but every time she's called upon to speak...
Anyway. So Hudson's the best thing about a bad (or at least really boring) movie, but still, the Dreamgirls hype reproduces itself. Why are people paying $25 to see this thing? Wait, better question: why did I pay $25 to see this thing? And the worst part of all is that hype begets more hype. Create an event, and people will go. They'll pay their $25, applaud (hell, they even cheered Beyonce), and go home and tell their friends they have to see Dreamgirls. It's brilliant marketing. In fact, it's the only brilliant thing about Dreamgirls.