• Publication date: October 1, 2011

Fame comes & goes, Stars rise & fall, but dreams are forever Dreamgirls: All that glitters is not gold

"Dreamgirls" is the story of three young, African-American and impoverished women striving to make a name for themselves in the music industry.
Since their earliest years Deena, Effie and Lorrell sang together in their housing project, wondering when a record producer might discover them.

"Dreamgirls" is the story of three young, African-American and impoverished women striving to make a name for themselves in the music industry.

Since their earliest years Deena, Effie and Lorrell sang together in their housing project, wondering when a record producer might discover them.

The girls� prayers are answered by an unlikely messenger when Curtis Taylor Jr., the owner of a local car dealership, walks in to their lives searching for America�s first black pop superstars.

Set in early 60s Detroit, at a time before the civil rights movement would gain full momentum, white America seemed unlikely to welcome a trio of black songstresses, no matter how talented or beautiful.

However, Curtis wholeheartedly believes not only in the marketability of the girls, but on their potential to sell equal or more records than their white counterparts, including sensations such as the Beatles.

With money from his car dealership, in addition to funds from less noble deals, Curtis begins building the offices for his soon-to-be cash cow, the fictional Rainbow Records. In almost no time the up and coming executive lands the girls a gig as backup singers for R&B star James �Thunder� Early. Eventually the girls� own talent becomes impossible to ignore, and overshadows Early�s performance, leading them to headline their own shows.

While Curtis realizes he can easily captivate and sell records to other African-Americans, he does not believe the group is ready to conqueror white, teenage audiences. In an attempt to whiten the girls� image he requests writer C.C. White to compose songs less characteristic of R&B and more akin to white, top 40 pop.

This move by itself is risky, and could potentially alienate their already loyal black fans. However Curtis� next maneuver is arguably more risky: he replaces then girlfriend Effie, a full-bodied amazing lead singer with the more attractive, and more petite Deena. Curtis ensures Effie that this is a purely strategic move intended to capitalize on audiences� perceptions of beauty and readily admits, along with Denna, that Effie is a superior singer.

Yet as Deena begins wooing crowds across the country Curtis finds himself drawn to her. Soon rumors reach Effie that Deena and Curtis are having an affair, putting the fate of the entire group in jeopardy. Can the trio weather the turbulence to come without forfeiting the bonds that propelled them to success in the first place?

�Dreamgirls� was a box office smash and critical success. Earning over $154 million worldwide the picture now holds the title of the highest grossing film starring an entirely African-American cast.

Its 2 Oscars, 3 Golden Globes and numerous other wins and nominations will no doubt solidify the musical�s historical greatness in the annals of Hollywood history.

Aside from the film�s technical and musical merits �Dreamgirls� is also a history lesson in the evolution of modern black American music, and the perils involved with its creation. Parallels are intentionally drawn between Rainbow Records and real-life Detroit hit-machine Motown records. Curtis is an almost exact duplicate of Motown�s Barry Gordy Jr., while the girls infighting, talent, rise to success and fall from grace parallels that of real life girl group The Supremes.

The picture is rated PG-13 for language, some sexuality and drug content.

Year: 2006

Runtime: 130 mins

Genre: Drama/Musical

Starring:

Beyonce Knowles

Jennifer Hudson

Jamie Foxx

Eddie Murphy

Anika Noni Rose

Keith Robinson

Directed by: Bill Condon