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"DREAMGIRLS"
(2006) (Beyoncé Knowles, Jamie Foxx) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy None Heavy None Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None Moderate Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Moderate Moderate Moderate Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Drama/Musical: A Motown-type girl band tries to make it big in the 1960s and '70s and must deal with the repercussions once they do.
PLOT:
It's the 1960s and Effie Melody White (JENNIFER HUDSON), Deena Jones (BEYONCÉ KNOWLES) and Lorrell Robinson (ANIKA NONI ROSE) are the Dreamettes, an all-girl trio trying to make it big in the land of Motown. While Effie's brother Clarence Conrad "C.C." White (KEITH ROBINSON) composes various songs for them and serves as their manager, they have yet to come close to breaking into the big time.

That changes when car dealership owner and aspiring music producer Curtis Taylor Jr. (JAMIE FOXX) approaches them with the idea of backing up popular local singer James "Thunder" Early (EDDIE MURPHY). His notorious reputation precedes him and his old school manager Marty Madison (DANNY GLOVER) isn't happy with Curtis meddling in his affairs, but it isn't long before the girls are touring with James and he's soon having an affair with Lorrell. As does Curtis with Effie, although his interest eventually turns to Deena, who he believes has the look that could propel the trio to stardom.

From that point on, they must deal with the repercussions of that romantic and professional switch, their newfound success, and Curtis micromanaging their careers through the next decade.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into Broadway movie adaptations or are fans of anyone in the cast, they probably will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For language, some sexuality and drug content.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JAMIE FOXX plays a would-be band manager who sells his car dealership inventory to pursue his dream, during which he becomes a controlling manager and then husband to Deena (after dumping Effie). He uses profanity, smokes, drinks and turns into a ruthless and corrupt businessman.
  • BEYONCÉ KNOWLES plays the group member who finds herself chosen by Curtis to be the new leader of the group as well as his lover. She eventually marries him and basks in the glory of her fame, but eventually tires of his controlling behavior. She briefly smokes and briefly uses strong profanity.
  • JENNIFER HUDSON plays the original lead singer of the group who's passed over by Curtis romantically and professionally in favor of Deena. She ends up having a child by him, but isn't happy with how things turn out and eventually resurrects herself in a solo career.
  • EDDIE MURPHY plays a charismatic but notorious performer who engages in a long-running affair with Lorrell despite being married. He also occasionally acts provocatively on stage, smokes, drinks, and does various drugs.
  • DANNY GLOVER plays James' old-school manager who isn't happy with Curtis butting into his business. He uses some profanity,
  • ANIKA NONI ROSE plays the youngest member of the trio who stays out of the power struggle between her cohorts but does participate in a long-running affair with James (knowing he's married).
  • KEITH ROBINSON plays Effie's brother, a composer who also somewhat serves as their manager until Curtis comes along. He uses some profanity.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this dramatic musical that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are uttered. Sexually related dialogue and song lyrics are present, and couples (married and unmarried) are seen in bed (but any sexual activity occurs off screen). Various female performers wear skintight dresses that show their figures and cleavage, and some clothed chest shaking occurs in some of the performances.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, including a controlling and demeaning husband toward his wife. Various characters smoke and/or drink, and one does various types of drugs (and there's talk of him overdosing from heroin), while other thematic material includes brief footage of the 1960s riots.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, some flash images near strobe-like intensity at the beginning of the film.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's some spin-around camera footage.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • James drinks from a flask on the tour bus.
  • James and Marty have drinks.
  • Miscellaneous people drink.
  • Curtis drinks.
  • Miscellaneous people drink during a comedy performance.
  • Some people drink while Curtis has a drink in front of him.
  • Miscellaneous people drink with James who spreads some cocaine on a table.
  • Curtis and Deena have champagne at their wedding.
  • About a movie role, Curtis tells Deena that she isn't some hooker or junkie maid.
  • Curtis drinks at a party where miscellaneous people do the same.
  • James pulls out some drugs and starts to roll up his sleeve.
  • Miscellaneous people drink in a club.
  • James drinks and Lorrell pours a drink.
  • We hear on the news of a singer's death from a heroin overdose.
  • C.C. tells Curtis "thanks for the drink" but then leaves.
  • People drink at a wake.
  • Deena and Curtis have champagne with dinner.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • A man puts his hand on a woman's clothed butt.
  • James suggestively jokes with Lorrell that R&B means rough and black, and he then nuzzles on her neck, prompting her to remind him that he's married (and tell him to get his married hands off her).
  • We see that a white performer has made it big with a black artist's song (seen on American Bandstand and the black artist doesn't realize this theft until seeing that TV show).
  • Curtis gets into "pay for play" arrangements with radio stations to get James' songs on the air.
  • A white comedian makes racial jokes about black performers who can act, sing and mop up afterwards.
  • The girls get their own act, but Curtis announces that Deena will be the lead rather than Effie, basing that decision on their appearances rather than the strength of their voices.
  • Curtis replaces Effie with another singer and says that Effie has been late, mean and getting fatter all the time.
  • Tension and some bad attitudes then develop and grow among the group members when Curtis starts to favor Deena over Effie and eventually replaces the latter.
  • In a documentary about the group, we see that Effie has been replaced in it by someone else (thus erasing her from the band's history).
  • We see that James is still cheating on his wife with Lorrell (for the past 8 years). Later, he sings a song on stage to both his wife and Lorrell (who are not together).
  • When he learns that Effie might rise from the musical ashes, Curtis sets out to squash her comeback.
  • Curtis is demeaning to Deena about the quality of her voice and then tells her, "You can't take a sh*t and wipe your ass without me." He then says he forgives her for meeting with a movie director without his (Curtis') knowledge about a movie role. That causes her to be upset with him and then finally leave him (and their marriage).
  • We hear that Curtis was involved in fraud and the payola scheme.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • We see brief archival footage of rioting, including that of burning buildings, cars and a gun fired into the air.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "No f*cking bullsh*t," "That's bullsh*t," "Don't tell me we're going to start this sh*t again," "A real little sh*t," "You can't take a sh*t and wipe your ass without me," "You know I can talk, now watch me walk," "Shut up," "If I'm lying, I'm dying," "You're a stone cold fox," "Hell yeah," "Handing me a line of crap," "Punk," "Freaking," "Chump," "All you care about is her bony ass," "Bitching," "Black ass," "What the hell's he doing?" "Kiss my ass," "What the hell is going on now?" "Nigger" (said by a black person), "Bastard," "Honkeys," "Pissed off" and "Get your ass out here."
  • Various women in different scenes shake their clothed chests during performances.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • James sings some suggestive lyrics in a song ("I want you baby").
  • Some may view lyrics in the song "Dreamgirls" as being innuendo. Examples include "Dreamgirls will help you through the night," "Dreamgirls will make you feel all right," and "Dreamgirls keep your fantasies alive."
  • A song uses the "s" word as well as "ass" and the sexual phrase "knocking off."
  • James sings a potentially suggestive lyric about "Jimmy wants a piece of your chocolate cake."
  • A song has lyrics about "One night only. We only have till dawn. In the morning this feeling will be gone."
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 19 "s" words, 1 slang term for sex ("knocking off"), 4 asses, 3 hells, 1 crap, and 1 use each of "God" and "Sweet mother Jesus."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • The camera focuses on the butts of several female singers as they move about in their tight dresses (that also show cleavage).
  • A man puts his hand on a woman's clothed butt.
  • Effie shakes her clothed chest during a performance.
  • James suggestively jokes with Lorrell that R&B means rough and black, and he then nuzzles on her neck, prompting her to remind him that he's married (and tell him to get his married hands off her).
  • Lorrell shows some cleavage and shakes her otherwise clothed chest during a performance.
  • James playfully but suggestively asks some in a crowd about who wants to "sit on daddy's lap."
  • Deena and Lorrell show some cleavage in their dresses.
  • We see a quick view of James (shirtless) in bed with Lorrell as they kiss sitting up in bed.
  • James sings some suggestive lyrics in a song ("I want you baby") and does a few clothed pelvic thrusts, thus causing some older white patrons to get up and leave (Curtis is mad at him over this).
  • The three women show cleavage in their skintight dresses.
  • Some may view lyrics in the song "Dreamgirls" as being innuendo. Examples include "Dreamgirls will help you through the night," "Dreamgirls will make you feel all right," and "Dreamgirls keep your fantasies alive."
  • Effie becomes jealous of how Curtis acts around Deena, saying, "You're sleeping with her and everybody knows." She accuses Deena of stealing her dream and her man, and then tells Curtis, "All you care about is her bony ass."
  • Lorrell shows some cleavage.
  • A song uses the sexual phrase "knocking off."
  • Effie asks her replacement, "How much did you put out to get in?"
  • About a movie role, Curtis tells Deena that she isn't some hooker or junkie maid.
  • In a photo shoot, we see Deena's bare back, as well as her in a standard Cleopatra outfit (with something akin to a bikini top).
  • Curtis and Deena passionately kiss as they go down onto a bed (they're now married) and she says, "Please Curtis, let me have your child."
  • We see that Effie is now a mother (the father being Curtis from their earlier time together), but she says (in front of her young daughter) that the girl doesn't have a father.
  • Deena shows some cleavage.
  • Effie shows cleavage.
  • Lorrell delivers a number of sensual kisses on James.
  • James sings a potentially suggestive lyric about "Jimmy wants a piece of your chocolate cake," all while having his shirt open and then dropping his pants (nothing seen) during a performance. Curtis then fires him.
  • Deena shows cleavage in her dress.
  • A director talks about (in the abstract) when Deena "goes down on" the truck driver.
  • We see the women in skintight dresses.
  • A song has lyrics about "One night only. We only have till dawn. In the morning this feeling will be gone."
  • SMOKING
  • Curtis smokes more than 5 times, James smokes a few times, Deena smokes once, and a number of miscellaneous people smoke in various scenes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear that Curtis was married, but that it didn't work out.
  • We see that Effie is now a mother (the father being Curtis from their earlier time together), but she says (in front of her young daughter) that the girl doesn't have a father.
  • We see that James is still cheating on his wife with Lorrell (for the past 8 years). Later, he sings a song on stage to both his wife and Lorrell (who are not together).
  • When Effie sees her brother in her place, she doesn't want to talk to him and thus rushes off.
  • Curtis is demeaning to Deena about the quality of her voice and then tells her, "You can't take a sh*t and wipe your ass without me." He then says he forgives her for meeting with a movie director without his (Curtis') knowledge about a movie role. That causes her to be upset with him and then finally leave him (and their marriage).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Making it in the music business and having to deal with both the music and business sides of that.
  • We see that a white performer has made it big with a black artist's song (seen on American Bandstand and the black artist doesn't realize this theft until seeing that TV show).
  • Curtis gets into "pay for play" arrangements with radio stations to get James' songs on the air.
  • Curtis wants to introduce James to white audiences.
  • The riots of the 1960s.
  • We hear on the news of a singer's death from a heroin overdose.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We briefly see some standard boxing punches in a montage.
  • We see brief archival footage of rioting, including that of burning buildings, cars and a gun fired into the air.
  • During a quarrel, Deena pushes Effie back.
  • We see archival footage of burned out buildings in Detroit some time after the riots.
  • After Curtis has fired him but reaches out to shake his hand, James slaps it away.



  • Reviewed November 15, 2006 / Posted December 25, 2006

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