Start the film season off right by watching literally anything else.
Disclaimer: I am not generally a fan of musicals. I recognize that fact, and am cognizant of this bias when reviewing films. Some people love them, I don’t. That’s okay because I can say with certainty that my problems with “Dear Evan Hansen” extend far, far beyond casual disinterest for the genre.
“Dear Evan Hansen” tells the story of a socially awkward teen who finds himself the center of attention following the suicide of a bully, who he lets people believe was his best friend. It is a journey of the heart and spirit, and the worst movie I’ve seen in a long time.
Do you know what it’s like to have bleach poured in your eyes as Rick Riordan poetry (I don’t even want to know if that’s a thing) is yodeled into your ears from an inch away for two hours and seventeen very, very, very long minutes?
Well, guess what? I do now.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s explore what those problems actually are, shall we?
Number one: Ben Platt.
This man should have a court order against him playing characters younger than 24, let alone a teenager. Just no.
Number two: The part when they were singing.
I dreaded every approaching song that seemed to hide behind the screen, giggling like a cute, fuzzy, 1980s film creature that was just giddily waiting to eat after midnight and shove my arm into a blender..
It should tell you something that on multiple occasions I attempted to induce sleep during such ballads as “Sappy McSoap-Opera Part Four” and “How I Manipulated People and the Moral of the Story Is That I Did Nothing Wrong,” or even future classics like “I’m Just An Actor, I Didn’t Know This Was A Singing Thing.” What beauty. What power. What passion.
Number three: The part when they stopped singing.
The part I dreaded the second most besides the musical part was the rest of it.
Number four: Stephen Chbosky
Somehow, the director of the acclaimed “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” which featured great performances and quality direction, managed to turn Julianne Moore and Amy Adams into bad actors. Props, that takes effort.
Number five: Steven Levenson
What do you think would have happened if Frankenstein made his monster from a cemetery of soap opera writers, but their sense of drama had died with them — and also the monster decided to write screen adaptations for musicals? I guess we don’t have to wonder.
I recognize that a lot of work goes into making a film; between the unrealistic script, the disorienting and inappropriate cinematography, the lukewarm art direction, the overexposed gaffing, and much, much more, there were no doubt over a million hours of creative (and not so creative) time put into this film. So while the end result was no doubt terrible, we should take a moment to appreciate what a waste of time this film was for everyone involved.
Title: “Dear Evan Hansen”
Star Rating: 1/5
[Available at time of writing to see in theaters.]