5) That A Million Dreams song. I’m not here to dunk on children but I will if I have to and I have to. The vocals are giving me “I don’t want to be here. This is not my purpose.”
4) I hate to single her out but also I don't care: White Michelle Williams. I know you have bills to pay but with your dignity? Struggle vocals, struggle role. All in all a struggle for her and the audience. Love you (Venom? Venom 2?! Matilda's college isn't gonna pay for itself so I feel you but I'm mad about it).
2) Zendaya and Zac Enron's romance. She can do better and he can die (their characters obviously but also them (don't die Zac Enron)). And not them trying to show an interracial relationship in a movie that romanticized a man who paraded an enslaved woman around the country as part of his sideshow act. Don't worry we'll get to that.
2) Existing. The story sucks, every part of it. Am I supposed to find 45 year old Hugh Jackman pretending to be 20 to 35 (??? The timeline in this movie makes no sense) putting his family through the wringer endearing? I don’t. Get a job! Dreams die when you choose to procreate.
Hugh Jackman is a good actor and very charismatic and his Wolverine is one of the best comic to screen character adaptions in cinema but please stop casting this man in musicals. I KNOW that's his background, I know he's done Broadway, I bet he even has a Tony but my GOD this man's voice is just slightly better than grating. Did no one see Les Miserables? I'm tired.
Not to mention but to mention that Pasek and Paul are the worst things (yes, THINGS) to happen to musical theater since Mame*. Their lyrics are trite, the melodies inconsistent and they created Dear Evan Hansen.
1) PT Barnum was a piece of shit.
Much like America, he built his wealth on the backs of black bodies.
Growing up in the antebellum North, Barnum took his first real dip into showmanship at age 25 when he purchased the right to “rent” an aged black woman by the name of Joice Heth, whom an acquaintance was trumpeting around Philadelphia as the 161-year-old former nurse of George Washington.
With Heth, he saw an opportunity to strike it rich. Though slavery was outlawed in Pennsylvania and New York at the time, a loophole allowed him to lease her for a year for $1,000, borrowing $500 to complete the sale.
This motherfucker didn't stop there though:
When she died in February 1836, rather than let her go in peace, Barnum had one more act up his sleeve: he drummed up a final public spectacle, hosting a live autopsy in a New York Saloon.
Let's not forget his entire business model was about exploiting the disenfranchised and discarded by society. But ya know, let's make a peppy musical about him 100+ years later. Fuck him.
Because I'm both a hypocrite and a masochist (and didn't know all this shit about Barnum before bopping to this atrocity), here are 3 reasons why you are allowed to not hate it.
3) Keala Settle bringing down the house and securing herself the role while doing a presentation for Fox.
2) This cover of The Other Side on the Reimagined album by someone named MAX (idk why he’s yelling at us either) and Ty Dolla $ign, who, get this can SING. Their back and forth on this song is fantastic because they both sound great and vocally give more than Hugh and Zac who are mostly just ya know, cute.
1) Another plug (pay me Sony! Actually I have no idea who produced the album and I’m lot gonna Google it but pay me): Kelly Clarkson covering Never Enough. In the movie it's already a highlight (Rebecca Ferguson lipsynced for her check!) but Kelly Clarkson’s cover elevates the entire song because that’s just what Kelly does to every song she blesses her voice with. Plus unlike the original, which is fantastic don’t try me wrong, she doesn’t need to change the pronunciation of “never”, which I just like personally.
So yeah the good parts are just the talented singers.
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*never seen mame but go with the joke