By now, you probably know Dreamgirls (which gets a B+ in this week’s EW) opened in selected cities today. And since it’s PopWatch’s most anticipated movie of 2006, we have no choice but to build this week’s Weekend To-Do List around the film’s breakout star (and Golden Globe nominee) Jennifer Hudson. After all, our own Gary Susman lobbied for J.Hud to nab the role of Effie way back in the day. And also, Brothers & Sisters is a repeat this week.
- Let’s begin our Jennifer Hudson studies with five can’t-miss YouTube clips: Her Idol audition (pictured), plus her two brightest, shiniest moments from the show’s Season 3 finals — covers of Elton John’s "Cirrrrrrrcllle of Liiiiiiiife" and Barry Manilow’s "Weekend in New England." FYI, there’s a 93 percent chance you’ll get chills when J.Hud begins some fierce holleration on the line "AND TE-EH-EH-EH-LL ME-EE-EE-EE" on the latter track. Work it out, girl! Also a must-see, her performances of "One Night Only" and "I Am Changing" on Thursday’s Today. Grab a Kleenex. Dab. Repeat.
- On the Jennifer tip, Kate Winslet may be up for a Golden Globe in Little Children, but let’s not forget the contributions of her costar, Oscar-winner Jennifer Connelly. Either way, EW’s Lisa Schwarzbaum gives the film an A-. Also, under the Dreamgirls heading, shall we have a listen to the original Effie, Miss Jennifer Holliday? Yes? (For the record, she’s a little heated about what she says is less than stellar treatment from the film’s producers.) And finally, check out the latest reviews from EW book critic Jennifer Reese. There’s holiday shopping ideas in there, I tell ya. And while there are no Jennifers on Survivior: Cook Islands, its season finale airs Sunday (CBS, 8:00 pm), and I thought I should probably mention it.
- On the Hudson tip, Ernie Hudson has been working an inexplicably retro fashion vibe on Desperate Housewives (which airs a repeat, ABC, Sunday, 9 pm) this season, not that there’s anything wrong with that. As for DVD rentals, how about Hudson Hawk? No? Moscow on the Hudson then? That one got a B+ from EW. Meanwhile, Kate Hudson’s You, Me and Dupree is out on DVD; EW’s Leah Greenblatt gives it a not-exactly enthusiastic B-. Perhaps K.Hud’s vehicle How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (airing Friday, Saturday, and Sunday on USA)would be a better option? You don’t have to pay to watch it, after all.Or you could grab a Hudson of an altogether different stripe and rentRock Hudson’s Pillow Talk, which scored an A- from EW’s Steve Daly. It kind of fits better with the Dreamgirls vibe, don’t you think?