Bomb Rating: 

This is a musical starring Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere. Zellweger and Zeta-Jones sing and dance okay, but Gere is so stiff you'd swear he has a gerbil up his ass. Who knew? And what was his agent thinking anyway? "People already think that you're stiff and that there might be a small rodent housed in your anus. Let's quell those nasty rumors by having you dance and sing!" Um, perhaps Mr. Agent, you should have had Mr. Gere dance and sing BEFORE you actually signed him up for the film.

Gere plays Billy Flynn, lawyer for one Roxie Hart (Zellweger), a woman who shot her lover and finds herself in chick prison along with notorious singer and dancer Velma Kelly (Zeta-Jones) and motherly-but-tough prison matron "Momma" Morton (Queen Latifah). Frankly, if Zellweger could just borrow a little of what Queen Latifah has got, she'd have way more than she could handle. If marquee credits were listed by sheer mass, Latifah's cleavage would be several spots above Zellweger's name.

The premise of the musical parts of the film is that Roxie dreams of being on stage. Kelly is already on stage, and since scandal is the way to make a name for oneself in 1920s Chicago, Kelly is the biggest name by virtue of having shot somebody. When Roxie does the same, she finds that climbing to the top is just a matter of grabbing the biggest headline.

Every time something happens, Roxie imagines it all as a dancing and singing number. What film do we have to thank for this? "Moulin Rouge" of course. Now, every actor west of the Mississippi who recalls dancing and singing in an elementary school Christmas pageant will be signing up to do musicals. Hopefully, this fad dies faster than the spate of "Alien" rip-off films in the '80s.

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