And of course both were shown up by Zellweger and especially Queen Latifah, who should’ve won the Oscar that Zeta-Jones got.
Ewan McGregor was iffy in Moulin Rouge but he and Renee Zellweger had an adorable musical number at the end of Down With Love that was so good that it’s now on my iPod. He acquitted himself quite nicely there.
Speaking of being shown-up in a cast full of great singers, Amanda Bynes, adorable as she is, was outpaced in Hairspray. She was the weak link.
In the movie he recited almost all of the lyrics, singing a few notes here and there. On the original cast album (so I presume on the stage) he really did sing about half of the lyrics, switching to speech for emphasis IIRC. I heard this album once, and it was disconcerting for me because I had seen the movie before that.
Audrey Hepburn was a worse singer, and they made the correct choice of dubbing her with Marni Nixon (who also dubbed Deborah Kerr’s songs in “The King and I”). You can hear Hepburn’s full-throated, somewhat harsh singing voice at the beginning and end of “Just You Wait, 'Enry 'Iggins”. On one of the DVDs you can view the undubbed “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?” (And in “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” she sang “Moon River” in her own voice.)
I’m usually very particular about singing voices, but IMO none of the above (except Hepburn) are bad singers. They’re just not professionally trained, and I’m okay with that for these roles in the context of a musical. They can carry a tune and keep time. It’s just that their spoken voice is also their singing voice.
I’ve always thought that Lee Marvin was magnificently awful. The soundtrack album does him far better justice! My sister and I grew up with parents who were total show tunes enthusiasts (I think they wanted me to be gay too ). We used to cackle our fool heads off to Lee Marvin’s Wandrin’ Star. That gravelly deep sound.
Not having seen the movie as a little kid, I thought he was supposed to be a giant!
To this day, that performance makes me smile. That’s some seriously legendary awful, right there!
& Richard Harris in the film version of Camelot. That & the totally miscast Vanessa Redgrave wrecked the film version of 1 of my favourite musicals.
Agree with everyone about Pierce Brosnan. He didn’t just wreck the film for me - SOS used to be my favourite Abba tune. & I agee with the poster who doesn’t like Streep’s voice. Trained or not, its just not pleasant to listen to.
I’ll one up you with Robin Williams, and share your surprise at him not having been mentioned earlier even though he was one of the leads in one of the most successful animated musical features of all time and has been a featured singer at the Oscars. He can perform the hell out of a song, but he sure can’t sing.
While Donald Faison definitely is a better singer, I’m fairly certain J.D.'s “strain” was intentionally done for effect. And that’s definitely my favorite song of the musical. There’s even a youtube video of them singing part of the song live on Kimmel.
I agree. She was very weak. Like the American Idol performers prove every year how well a pro sings when they try and do their songs. She just showed how inferior her singing was. It was uncomfortable.
I’ve thought Meryl Streep was a good singer ever since the first time I heard her perform in Postcards From the Edge, and I thought she was pretty good in Mama Mia. But a lot of commenters over at IMDb didn’t like her singing, either.
Would anyone here who didn’t like her singing care to mention some other singers you do like, just so I can get an idea of what you consider good singing? Also, what do you think of Streep as an actress?
(I agree that Pierce Brosnan’s singing was terrible.)