Dear Evan Hansen Movie—why it fails
Posted by: Zelgo 10:41 am EST 01/22/22

I know I’m late to the game, but I finally saw DEH in a plane trip. So much of what made it a magical experience on Bway has gone missing. When there’s no magic to be noticed, all its weaknesses become more apparent.

First why does Evan Hansen have to have mental health issues? Many kids who are just isolated by their peers would feel the same way. It seems to be a plot point only brought up in the beginning of the show to explain why there’s a letter he wrote to himself. Then it’s hardly mentioned again. It also put much of the blame for what happens squarely on him rather than a desperate need for a lonely kid to get attention. He would have come off as a more sympathetic character if the authors hadn’t relied on the “he has mental health issues” crutch.

Second, the dialogue is so strong that I kept forgetting it was a musical. Songs show up every now and again—the movie would have been fine without any songs—very damning for a musical.

Third, the cast of movie superstars was a grave mistake. They kept distracting from the plot itself.

Fourth, must every song be an anthem?

Fifth, Hollywood has given America a distorted view of what high schoolers are supposed to look like. To find accomplished actors, Hollywood tends to turn to 20-something’s to play teenagers. Ben Platt is a good enough actor to pull off teen angst, but the cakes of make up, which varies from scene to scene don’t help.

By the end of the movie, I just thought “meh”

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