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For language, some sexuality and drug content
Jamie Foxx, Beyonce Knowles, Eddie Murphy, Danny Glover, Anika Noni Rose, Jennifer Hudson, Keith Robinson, Bobby Slayton
Based on the award-winning hit Broadway musical about a female singing group called the Dreamettes. In 1960s Detroit, a good night onstage can get you noticed but it won't get your song played on the radio. Here, a new kind of music is on the cusp of being born – a sound with roots buried deep in the soul of Detroit itself, where songs are about more than what's on the surface, and everyone is bound together by a shared dream.
Dreamgirls (2006) | Preview
ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS DREAM: BRINGING THE LEGEND TO LIFE
Eddie Murphy, whose prodigious talent fueled his own meteoric rise on television in "Saturday Night Live" and films like "48 Hrs." and "Trading Places," plays James "Thunder" Early, a character Condon describes as "a force of nature. Nothing can hold him back when he's performing and that electric energy bleeds into his personal life."
For Murphy, Early represents the unique R&B spirit that was even then bleeding over into the consciousness of mainstream America. "Jimmy is perpetually on the edge of getting some national exposure, playing the cities," says Murphy. "Everyone loves him because he's really one of a kind. He just can't seem to break through, but he is an R&B originator, bringing the sound that white kids could dance to – like James Brown, Chuck Berry, Little Richard. While the country was still segregated, they were bridging the world of music, bringing 'black' sound to 'white' America. It wasn't until later that these performers realized just how much they accomplished."
As they aggressively tour the "Chitlin' Circuit," Effie's brother C.C. (Keith Robinson) writes songs and choreographs moves for the parallel acts. C.C., though quiet, is the ideal conduit through which Curtis can craft the artists into a marketable commodity. "C.C. is a gifted artist in his own right but he doesn't have the confidence to express what's really in his heart," says Robinson. "Like everybody else in their little group, he puts his trust in Curtis. And through his songwriting, he becomes this instrument, a tool Curtis uses to take on the roadblocks he wants to break through."
"They're all coming up together and it's so exciting," says Rose. "There's this sense of camaraderie and shared desire. Everything is fun. Everything is an experiment. The stakes are high but it's all really in the abstract – they're still in their own little world. This is a time when no one has crossed over. So, they can afford to experiment."
When Curtis mixes with James "Thunder" Early, promising to break him out of the Chitlin' Circuit and into more uptown bookings, his longtime manager begins to see that the game has changed. Independent Spirit Award winner and acting legend Danny Glover plays Marty. Foxx enthuses, "Working alongside Danny, who is one of my heroes, is just incredible."
"Marty is an old school talent manager," describes Glover. "He discovered James when he was a kid, so he's like a father figure to him. But he's also that generation of talent agents who are on their way out. Marty has a real integrity, but he is not able to move up to another level. Curtis can see the transformation coming and asserts himself within that transformation. He takes the nurturing business relationship that James had with Marty, and turns it into a purely business relationship."
Copyright © 2006 Hollywood Jesus. All rights reserved.
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