Yesterday I went to see the movie Dream Girls with my two daughters–ages 10 and 13. I personally experienced every emotion possible. I laughed, cried (unashamably), got angry, felt sorrow and regret, and in the end felt I had been treated to an event well worth the price of admission.
It was wonderful to view motion picture entertainment with a dominant Black cast that did not feature violence, sex, and all the stereotypes that reinforce how we are perceived–even to ourselves! Nor did it carry a theme of victimhood or reparations for past injustices. To me, it was a real-life story of the struggles that human beings face when driven to simultaneouly achieve success and happiness.
It also featured the attitude of success necessary to successfully compete on an uneven playing field. And the breakthroughs made by past entertainers in the music industry–which appears to be highly cut-throat. They were the Giants that paved the way for the opportunities many of us have today–sometimes without proper recognition and acknowledgement. (The Ray Charles movie was similar in this respect)
Most of all, it was a basic story about the human experience that we can all identify with irrespective of race, ethnicity, or national origin. After all, we all have “a story.” And that story is filled with successes, failures, disappointments, regrets, and ultimately triumph of the human spirit. Think how boring the human experience would be without all of these! One thing I’ve always said is when I choose to die, this body will be completely used up. It will not still have the price tag on it!
Most all, the movie was not an updated form of “Amos and Andy.” Where we were originally allow entre into the entertainment business in roles of “stereotypical humor.” Like Martin Luther King said in one of his speeches, “I don’t choose to scratch where I don’t itch or laugh when something isn’t funny!” I’m not sure how many of the majority population support us in this role of human beings having real life experiences (in terms of box-office attendance), but Eddie Murphy did win a Golden Globe Award for Supporting Actor.
Most of all, I could see my life flash by in almost every scene and acting role. I am also clear that the feelings and emotions I experienced were my own, not the actors on the screen. I told my girls it was a wonderful, powerful, and very cheap workshop.