13 August 2007

dream girl

Six or Eight months back, my sister (whom I adore) went on a rant... a tirade, really. She was hot, she was impassioned, she was utterly disgusted - about the hype, about the press, about a movie: "Dreamgirls."

When the Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations came out, she was flabbergasted. When Jennifer Hudson took home the Globe and the Oscar for her supporting role, Folayo was annoyed. And perhaps one of the most satisfying moments for my sister of early 2007 was when "Dreamgirls" didn't get an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture (alright, I'm exaggerating slightly, but the point is that she abhorred this movie, and I have heard about it several times since the beginning of the year).

You'll never guess what arrived in my mailbox in a thin red envelope just in time for the weekend...

Heeding my sister's advice, Paul and I opted against seeing "Dreamgirls" in the theater. Nonetheless, I still wanted to see the movie that had polarized so many moviegoers (and families). "You either love it or you hate it," was the word on the street. So Saturday night, after the kids went down, Paul and I plopped on the couch and braced ourselves...

Folayo and I just got off the phone. We chatted for a while about this and that, and then came the moment of truth. It was time to drop the bomb on her: Paul and I REALLY enjoyed this movie. Needless to say that she was speechless!

In my opinion, Dreamgirls was a spectacle. It was big. It was huge. It was cheesy, yes, but it was stage on screen. It was a musical for goodness sakes - a good one! Yes, it had all the makings of a disaster - Jamie Foxx AND Beyonce - but they were easy to look past. I even remember thinking how much more I preferred Beyonce as Deena than as herself. I loved many of the characters. I appreciated the colors, the choreography and the costumes. I thoroughly enjoyed the music. I was blown away by so many of the vocal performances. I really, REALLY liked... no LOVED this movie.

Twenty minutes in, I remember thinking: "so far so good." Forty-five minutes in, I kept wondering when the bad part was coming. Then after about an hour, Jennifer Hudson rocked my world with one of the best five minutes of performing I have EVER seen on screen (THAT GIRL CAN SING!)

I was entertained, enthralled - totally and thoroughly hooked. I had a lump in the back of my throat and tears streaming down my face when the picture ended (in spite of Jamie Foxx), and I even seriously considered watching it again last night before I sent it back today. It was two hours and ten minutes of my life that I don't want back - two and one-sixth hours well spent. My only regret as far as "Dreamgirls" is concerned is that we didn't fork over the 20 bucks to see it on the big screen.

Pardon the thump. That would be my sister dropping out of her chair to the floor.

I would definitely contend that "Dreamgirls" was one of the best pictures of last year (better than "The Departed," in my opinion), and I wholeheartedly agree that Jennifer Hudson
EARNED her Oscar. She was incredible! She rocked that role, owned the screen, carried the cast and her voice literally took my breath away. Not only would I watch "Dreamgirls" again, but I would buy the soundtrack and gladly fly to New York to see it on stage!

Oh that? Yeah, that would be Folayo gagging and dry-heaving.

I suppose this film had no where to go but up, with the Folayo-imposed expectations I had for it. Why am I surprised?!?! Despite the fact that we get along so well and she cracks me up like NO ONE else can, in so many ways, my sister and I are yin and yang. She's 5'10 (+), I'm 5'4 (-). She's an extrovert, I'm an introvert. She's big picture, I'm details. She's a character - witty and sarcastic, drama and sarcasm are pretty much wasted on me. She the youngest, I'm the oldest. She's sassy and single, I'm married with children.

She's the life of the party...

...I'd rather stay home.

She's Folayo, I'm Abi. We have agreed to heartily disagree.

While she was in town a couple weeks ago, Folayo gave Paul and I tickets to go see "Once" at the Landmark Theatre before the end of the summer. Her words at the end of our conversation this afternoon went something like, "If you don't like this movie... we are no longer sisters."

I have a feeling I may be in the market for a new sibling.


Katy said...

Fantastic blog. I thoroughly enjoyed it...and now want to see Dreamgirls as I no longer see movies in the theatre or at home unless they are REALLY good and worth the little extra time I have.

I love that God puts us in families! We are joined with people who we probably wouldn't meet, let alone hang out with if left to our own defenses.

And yet, we end up loving them and learning from them.

Folayo said...

You're just so wrong...so so wrong. I prayed for you last night.

Jen said...

Your review made me want to see it! I am glad you are back, and wondering if Betty has been fixed. I'm sorry that your special time was ruined because of evil in the world, but glad that you didn't let it take over you.