"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Earnhardt Tails - Dreamgirls

Another Saturday evening and I was left behind. My sweet little doll, Ms. Pam, headed off late in the afternoon to meet up with her co-workers, Ms. Jane and Ms. Pat, to see Dreamgirls. How sad that my singing voice is more scat than lyrics, for my personal theme song would have to be “There is nothing like a dame.”

Of course not all females are dames. Some are little dolls, like my petite roommate, Ms. Pam. The difference between dames and little dolls? Dames can take care of themselves, period. Little dolls can take care of themselves also but they are not averse to letting the male of the species have a role in the Master Plan too. That is why my Ms. Pam and I are perfect roomies. She tolerates my wandering ways. I make myself useful looking after her without letting her know about it. Call me Muscle in Midnight Black. We share a well-honed sense of class and long, sharp fingernails.

After returning home, Ms. Pam enjoyed a glass of Merlot and is still feeling overwhelmed by the emotion of the movie Dreamgirls, particularly the depth of feeling that Jennifer Hudson managed to convey in her role as Effie White, the 'fourth' Dreamgirl, the underdog with the genuinely awe-inspiring vocal talent.

Ms Pam continued to tell me that to say that the film is a monumental feat for Ms. Hudson is an understatement. Nearly halfway through, she delivered the song "And I Am Telling You" (which Ms. Pam recently downloaded last week), and that moment alone redefined the term "show stopper" ten times over. Ms. Hudson delved as deep into the core of her very soul as a person could possibly go to wrench out a performance that left Ms. Pam emotionally overhauled good and proper. Ms. Pam defies, in fact, anybody with any shred of feeling to sit through this number unaffected.

The rest of the movie worked too, in every possible way. Eddie Murphy especially is a standout, and this came not a second too soon - he'd been languishing away for years now in thankless roles, and it was a genuine thrill to see him come alive once again, in a part that allowed him not only to show what a fantastic singer he is, but also how overpoweringly magnetic he is as a performer and as a film star.

Ms. Pam had never seen the stage production, and she wasn't really familiar with the plot, so she was not prepared for the film to be so emotionally wrenching, but this is, of course, a good thing - it made her care deeply about the characters (Hudson's and Murphy's in particular), and this is what makes the film a success, in her estimation.

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