Ah, musicals. Chances are you love them or you hate them. My question for those of you who hate them is, why? Not only do you get a movie, but you get an entire soundtrack to perfectly compliment the storyline and later be stuck in your head for days. With immensely talented actors and actresses who can do it all — we’re talking acting, singing and dancing — if you don’t like musicals there may be some deeper issues for you to unpack. It’s hard to trust a person who has no appreciation for one of the finest arts known to mankind — the musical film.
Arguably the best thing a musical has to offer is pure escapism. Most musicals provide viewers with the opportunity to travel to not only another reality, but another time period altogether, and experience it via song. Additionally, musicals often explore important issues of these eras in digestible and captivating ways — imagine learning about the founding fathers in any other way besides from “Hamilton.”
As an added bonus, the costumes go crazy and the hair and makeup is a guaranteed feast for the eyes. You may also notice that all the characters are, to put it quite plainly, sexy. If anything, musicals are a treat for your eyes and your ears.
So now that I’ve hopefully convinced the non-musical watchers to watch a musical, let me offer up a few recommendations.
To begin your musical-watching endeavors, you should start with a classic, such as “Grease.” Set in the 1950s, it has the typical star-crossed lover storyline and a good ol’ transformative makeover for Sandy, one of the main characters. Not to mention there are plenty of sick cars.
After you’ve watched your warm-up musical, it’s time to tackle another classic, “The Sound of Music.” Set in the beautiful mountains of Austria leading up to World War II, the movie follows the Von Trapp family through song and struggle. Unlikely lovers, nuns and Nazis basically sum it up, but I promise the whole 2 hours and 55 minutes are worth it.
For a more modern musical, I suggest “Mama Mia!” This one is unique, as the entire soundtrack is curated from ABBA songs. If you’re in need of brownie points with your mom, this is a good one to watch with her.
What mom wouldn’t like to watch this Meryl Streep, Cher and Greece-filled vacation from their couch with you, their now-favorite child? If you are watching with your mom, be sure to have some wine as the “Lay All Your Love On Me” scene is pretty steamy and it could get awkward.
Once you have these musicals under your belt, you’ll be ready to watch more intense musicals such as “Hamilton” or “West Side Story.” If these are still too musical-y for you, try circling back and watching “Annie.”
These days, I’m willing to give anything a try to forget the current world I am living in. I’ve found musicals are the unsung heroes of 2021 — no pun intended. Even the most anti-musical person can find comfort and escape in at least one of these films.