Content grades Mary J. Blige's acting...

November 23, 2010

Divas Do Hollywood: Pop Queens in Movies

Divas Do Hollywood: Pop Queens in Movies

Screen Gems
Madonna and Whitney to Gwen and Britney… Nearly every pop queen has packed up their diva ways and taken them to the big screen.
The results have been mixed; for every Mariah Carey in “Precious,” there’s a Mariah Carey in “Glitter,” and for every J. Hudson in “Dreamgirls,” there’s a J. Simpson in “Employee of the Month.”
With veteran screen diva Cher teaching acting newcomer Christina Aguilera the tricks of crossing over in “Burlesque,” here’s a rundown of the most memorable instances of divas gone Hollywood.

Mariah Carey

Everett Collection
Movies: “Glitter” (2001), “Precious” (2009)

When she played a gorgeous pop diva in “Glitter” … not so much. But when she went un-glam to play social worker Ms. Weiss in “Precious,” Carey proved she had some acting skills. To be fair, not even Meryl Streep could have made “Glitter” sparkle, and plenty of actresses have shined only when they got a shot at quality material.

Rating: C


Screen Gems
Movies: “Austin Powers in Goldmember” (2002), “The Fighting Temptations” (2003), “The Pink Panther” (2005), “Dreamgirls” (2006), “Cadillac Records” (2008), “Obsessed” (2009)

Beyonce, on the other hand, may want to stick to musical-themed roles. She may not have won the big awards for “Dreamgirls” or for portraying legend Etta James in “Cadillac Records,” but awards nods can be a bad thin … as in the Worst Actress Razzie nomination she earned for “Obsessed,” a reverse sexual harassment thriller which one critic called nothing more than an excuse for a Beyonce/Ali Larter catfight. Meow.

Rating: B-

Britney Spears

Movies: “Crossroads” (2002)

She was playing an aspiring singer, she was surrounded by talent like Dan Akroyd, Kim Cattrall, Justin Long and Taryn Manning and the teenybopper storyline revolved around three BFFs on a road trip, yet surprisingly, Britney’s first major big-screen role was a big dull dud. Even more surprisingly: the mess, a commercial and critical flop, was written by Shonda Rhimes. Yes, that Shonda Rhimes.

Rating: C-

Gwen Stefani

Everett Collection
Movies: “The Aviator” (2004)

Her onscreen time was relatively brief, but Stefani’s turn as Hollywood legend Jean Harlow was memorable in the Martin Scorsese-directed Howard Hughes biopic. Stefani’s wide-eyed look and retro-inspired style, aided by a top-notch hair and make up crew, of course, led to an impeccably accurate portrayal of Harlow, whose star-making role came courtesy of Hughes and his 1930 hit “Hell’s Angels.”

Rating: B

Jessica Simpson

Warner Bros.
Movies: “The Dukes of Hazzard” (2005), “Employee of the Month” (2006)

Whatever else happened onscreen — including a nominee for worst line ever when her Daisy Duke tells a cop, “I think something bounced up into my undercarriage” — Simpson had made sure she filled out her denim Daisy Dukes nice and properly, so all was mostly forgiven for that one. As for her follow up, with Dane Cook, in “Employee of the Month,” there’s too much bad acting to forgive, but we sure do want to forget it.

Rating: D-

Alicia Keys

Movies: “Smokin’ Aces” (2006), “The Nanny Diaries” (2007), “The Secret Life of Bees” (2008)

R&B/pop diva Keys brought her laidback cool to the role of Georgia Sykes, the hitwoman who, with partner Sharice Watters (Taraji P. Henson), is hired to off Vegas magician and wannabe gangster Buddy “Aces” Israel (Jeremy Piven). Her subsequent roles, in “The Nanny Dairies” and “The Secret Life of Bees,” were much lower key, but “Aces” has us hopin’ for more guntotin’, action-packed performances from the new mama.

Rating: C+

Mary J. Blige

Movies: “I Can Do Bad All By Myself” (2009)

Her role as singing bartender Tanya, BFF of Taraji P. Henson’s April, in Tyler Perry’s “I Can Do Bad All By Myself,” was enough to have us excited for her first major starring role, playing legendary jazz singer and pianist Nina Simone in the 2012 biopic “Nina.”

Rating: B+

*grabs a kleenex* I know this isn't an Oscar, but it's a start! Mary gets a great rating based on her acting, charting higher than Beyonce, Alicia Keys, & Gwen Stafanni! 

Truth is, in "I Can Do Bad" Mary did do a great job! You can tell the passion was there & the skill is there! 

I know it's been FIVE years we've been waiting, but I guess it's a good thing that movie wasn't released a year ago. 



Tierra at: November 23, 2010 at 6:39 PM said...

i can't wait till Mary does that Nina simone movie. i hope she get's an oscar, because she deserves it. I think that she should make a movie about her life, sort of like puff daddy did biggie. Now I think that would be a hit.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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