Dear Evan Hansen Review
Dear Evan Hansen, you are a sociopath. Sincerely, Emily Mackay Hennefer. Wait...I should probably write more of an actual review than that? Okay....where do I begin?
For a few months Dear Evan Hansen has already been the butt of many jokes since the titular lead Evan Hansen as portrayed by Ben Platt does not look anything close to resembling a high schooler. Some even went as far to compare it to this year's version of Cats. It was quickly labeled problematic and insensitive towards mental health...but it couldn't really be that bad could it? Well you'd be surprised! That's not to say it's totally deserving of that comparison, but in a lot of ways I can totally see it. Both are beloved broadway musicals that just don't translate whatever magic they had on the stage to the big screen. Both require quite a lot of suspension of disbelief not only in terms of a nonsensical plot, but in buying the way the characters look (and yeah...Ben Platt's face and look here is just downright distracting). And both hope that their nice musical songs will make up for the fact that all of this is just a hot mess.
Dear Evan Hansen follows the aforementioned Evan (Ben Platt), a depressed high school loner who just wishes he could make some friends and gain the courage to talk to the girl of his dreams, Zoe (Kaitlyn Dever). One day, Zoe's brother, Connor, with who Evan had only had a few brief encounters, commits suicide. After a few series of misunderstandings, Zoe's family soon is under the impression that Evan was best friends with their son--a lie that Evan himself decides to perpetuate when he sees how much Connor's mother (Amy Adams) seems to need to cling to that lie. So naturally, he goes to unhealthy levels to preserve his illusion and endear himself to the dead boy's family.
Dear Evan Hansen is like watching a car wreck in slow motion because you just know where it's going is only leading to pure disaster. It is so painful and so cringe-inducing. Two hours of internal screaming. Whenever I would think it reached peak cringe, somehow it kept finding ways to top itself. The entire movie is like those uncomfortable moments in real life when someone has experienced personal tragedy, but some well-meaning person with no self-awareness tries to say something better, but they only make the situation worse. But the moral of the story is if you ever do something completely sociopathic and terrible, just sing and apologize afterward and it won't be too bad.
But if I had to say something good...well I guess that would be the presence of the always reliable Kaitlyn Dever and Amy Adams.