Jamie Foxx (Collateral)
Beyoncé Knowles (Austin Powers 3)
Eddie Murphy (Dr. Dolittle)
Danny Glover (Earthsea)
Jennifer Hudson (Empire)
Anika Noni Rose (The Good Wife)
Keith Robinson (Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue)
Hinton Battle (Buffy)
Loretta Devine (Crash)
John Lithgow (3rd Rock From The Sun)
John Krasinski (License To Wed)
Laura Bell Bundy (Anger Management)
Ivar Brogger (Andromeda)
Dawnn Lewis (Veronica Mars)
Jaleel White (Family Matters)
Cleo King (Mike & Molly)
Gregg Berger (Transformers)
Sharon Leal (Supergirl)
Backstage at an amateur talent show at the Detroit Theatre in 1961, young car salesman Curtis Taylor Jr. meets a girl group known as “The Dreamettes”: lead singer Effie White and back-up singers Deena Jones and Lorrell Robinson. Curtis presents himself as The Dreamettes’ new manager and arranges for The Dreamettes to become backup singers for popular R&B singer Jimmy ‘Thunder’ Early.
Curtis soon starts his own record label, Rainbow Records, out of his Detroit car dealership, and appoints Effie’s brother C.C as his head songwriter. When their first single fails after another pop group releases a cover version, Curtis, C.C, and their producer Wayne turn to payola to make Jimmy and The Dreamettes pop stars. Offstage, Effie becomes infatuated with Curtis, while the married Jimmy begins an affair with Lorrell.
Jimmy’s manager Marty grows weary of Curits’ plans to make his client more pop-friendly and walks out. When Jimmy bombs in front of a Miami Beach audience, Curtis sends Jimmy out on the road alone, keeping The Dreamettes behind to headline in his place. Feeling that Effie’s curvy figure and distinctive voice will not attract audiences, Curtis appoints the slimmer and higher-voiced Deena lead singer and renames the group ” Deena Jones and the Dreams”.
With the aid of new songs and a new more glamorous image, Curtis and Marty transform The Dreams into a top selling mainstream pop group. However, Effie begins acting out, particularly when Curtis’ affections also turn towards Deena. Curtis eventually drops Effie (who has just learned she is pregnant with Curtis’ child) from the group, hiring Michelle Morris, a young intern, to take her place, which Effie finds out before anyone can tell her. Despite Effie’s defiance at being ousted, and her last-ditch appeal to Curtis, he, C.C., and The Dreams leave her behind and forge ahead to stardom.
Effie has now become an impoverished welfare mother, living in inner-city Detroit with her daughter, Magic, and struggling to return to music. One day, Marty appeals to Effie to let him help her rebuild her career and compels her to use her struggles as motivation in her music. Meanwhile, Rainbow Records has moved to Los Angeles, where The Dreams have become superstars. With Rainbow the biggest pop business in the country, Curtis is now attempting to move into film production with a film about Cleopatra starring an unwilling Deena, who is now his wife. Meanwhile, Jimmy Early has descended into drug addiction, his career neglected due to Curtis’ preoccupation with Deena. When Early has a breakdown onstage at Rainbow’s tenth anniversary TV special the following year, dropping his pants in front of the audience and live TV cameras, Curtis drops him from the label, and Lorrell ends their long affair. Later, Jimmy is found dead in a hotel room from a heroin overdose.
Angered over Curtis increasing control and remixing over his music for a new sound, and his lack of sympathy upon learning of Jimmy’s death in which Curtis calls it a “bad bad scene” after watching it on a breaking news bulletin, C.C quits and returns to Detroit to find Effie, who has been rebuilding her music career with Marty as her new manager. The two siblings reconcile, C.C meets his niece Magic for the first time and he writes and produces Effie’s comeback single, “One Night Only”. Just as the record begins gaining radio play in Detroit and climbs the charts, Curtis becomes furious when he learns about C.C helping Effie out in rebuilding her career. Out of desperation and spite, he uses payola to force radio stations to play a disco cover of “One Night Only” by The Dreams instead. His plan falls apart when Deena, angry over Curtis’ control of her career, finds evidence of his payola schemes and contacts Effie and C.C, who arrive in Los Angeles with Marty and a lawyer.
Deena and Effie reconcile, while Curtis, wanting to avoid being reported to the FBI for payola, agrees to give Effie’s record national distribution. Inspired by Effie’s victory, Deena leaves Curtis to make it on her own.
As a result, The Dreams give a farewell performance at the Detroit Theater. At the conclusion of the concert, Deena invites Effie to join the group onstage and sing lead for the final performance of the group’s signature song, “Dreamgirls.” As the concert ends, Curtis notices Magic in the front row, walks down the aisle, stands next to her without speaking and realizes that he is her father.
An absolutely wonderful movie with great music and performances. Jennifer Hudson is incredible