Dreamgirls : Movie Review

Preceded by a tidal wave of hype that's been building since last spring's Cannes Film Festival, when Paramount screened 20 minutes of footage to rapturous applause, the long-awaited film version of Dreamgirls finally sashays across the screen, almost 25 years to the day it opened on Broadway. The breathless clamor surrounding Bill Condon's adaptation of the smash musical, however, sets up an expectation that the actual film cannot meet, for Dreamgirls ultimately stumbles just as often as it struts. By turns exhilarating and exhausting, this glitzy but surprisingly emotionally muted saga of an all-female group's rise from the Detroit projects to the top of the pop charts gradually runs out of steam as it drags past the two-hour mark.

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