Movie Review: Dear Evan Hansen

Friday is going to be a good day and here’s why:

Dear Evan Hansen comes to a theater near you!

The generation-defining Broadway phenomenon Dear Evan Hansen comes to a theater near you this Friday, September 24, 2021 The best part, Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award winner Ben Platt reprises his role as an anxious, isolated high schooler aching for understanding and belonging amid the chaos and cruelty of the social-media age.

In 2020 I had tickets to see Dear Evan Hansen at the Fisher Theater in downtown Detroit. Unfortunately 2020 had other plans and as we all know too well venues were shut down. I was excited when I heard the news that Dear Evan Hansen was being made into a movie and I was even more excited when I learned that the role of Evan Hansen would be played by Ben Platt who originally starred in the role on Broadway.

Musicals are hard to translate to movies, especially once the musical has a large fan base and has won awards. The movie will either be well received or torn apart because it did not follow the story properly. Like I mentioned above, I was supposed to see Dear Evan Hansen last year, but was unable to. After seeing the movie version it makes me want to see the musical even more and just compare.

Dear Evan Hansen Movie Review

Dear Evan Hansen follows, Evan Hansen as he navigates through social awkwardness, life and events he kind of just put himself in after the death of a classmate. Conner has a brash personality, and is the classmate of Evan’s that ends up taking his own life. The only thing Conner is found with is a letter that starts with “Dear Evan Hansen” in his pocket. The letter is actually one Evan Hansen wrote to himself as part of his therapy. Not wanting to hurt Conner’s family more than they already were, the letter leads Evan Hansen to create a web of lies. Will these lies do more harm than good?

The messages in Dear Evan Hansen are good, relatable really. The story is dark and depressing and covers topics of mental health and self-harm. Which is kind of the theme in society right now. During the past 18-or-so months mental health awareness has been brought to life, and what we are learning is everyone seems to struggle somewhere. You’re not alone. Just as Evan Hansen did some people will even go to incredible lengths to make others feel better about the loss of someone who had mental issues. The movie is a reminder that you’re not alone. And keep in mind, this was a hit Broadway musical first and was not just created during shut down.

Let’s take a step away from mental health for a moment and talk about what is all the buzz on the interwebs right now… the film happens in high school. However, they never specify what grade any of the students are in, and honestly it doesn’t even matter for the story. What people have an issue with is the actors who are playing high school students. With the lead Evan Hansen, being played by Ben Platt (27-years-old), clearly isn’t high school age. And that age does show, that being said I wouldn’t want to see someone else in the role. Ben Platt won awards for the role of Evan Hansen, why would you want someone else in that role? I mean seriously? I have zero complaints with Ben Platt playing the role of a higher school.

Wrap up review of Dear Evan Hansen

I really enjoyed the movie. Ben Platt crushed the role, the songs were amazing and I can’t wait for it to circle back to Detroit and see it on stage.

Dear Evan Hansen Synopsis

The breathtaking, generation-defining Broadway phenomenon becomes a soaring cinematic event as Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award winner Ben Platt reprises his role as an anxious, isolated high schooler aching for understanding and belonging amid the chaos and cruelty of the social-media age.   

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being A Wallflower, Wonder), the film is written for the screen by the show’s Tony winner Steven Levenson with music and lyrics by the show’s Oscar®, Grammy and Tony-winning songwriting team of Benj Pasek & Justin Paul (La La Land, The Greatest Showman). 

Featuring Grammy winning songs, including the iconic anthem “You Will Be Found,” “Waving Through a Window,” “For Forever” and “Words Fail,” Dear Evan Hansen stars six-time Oscar® nominee Amy Adams, Oscar® winner Julianne Moore, Kaitlyn Dever (Booksmart), Amandla Stenberg (The Hate U Give), Colton Ryan (Apple TV+’s Little Voice), Nik Dodani (Netflix’s Atypical), DeMarius Copes (Broadway’s Mean Girls) and Danny Pino (NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit). 

Dear Evan Hansen is produced by Marc Platt (La La Land, Into the Woods, Mary Poppins Returns) and Adam Siegel (2 Guns, Drive), and is executive produced by Michael Bederman, Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Universal Pictures will distribute the film in all territories.

Genre: Musical Drama

Cast: Ben Platt, Amy Adams, Julianne Moore, Kaitlyn Dever, Amandla Stenberg, Nik Dodani, Danny Pino, Colton Ryan, DeMarius Copes

Directed by: Stephen Chbosky

Screenplay by: Steven Levenson

Music & Lyrics by: Benj Pasek & Justin Paul

Based on: The stage musical by Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek & Justin Paul

Producers: Marc Platt, Adam Siegel

Executive Producer: Michael Bederman, Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul


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