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Dear Evan Hansen- it was doomed from the start

Updated: Sep 26, 2021

Stars- Ben Platt, Amy Adams, Julianne Moore, Kaitlyn Dever, Amanda Stenberg, Nik Dodani and Danny Pino Directed by- Stephen Chbosky

Where to watch in Canada- Theatre

I am fully convinced that Dear Evan Hansen was doomed right from its start, you can decide for yourself whether it was because of the subject matter it tackles that leaves everyone feeling icky or if it was the casting decision to get Ben Platt who has already played a college student, to reprise his broadway role, as a high school student. I'm not going to crack any jokes about the latter, as there is so many out there at this point and it would feel like kicking Platt even more while he is down.

The truth of the manner is that there is just far too little to truly enjoy about this movie. The few things that do stand out positive can almost be tackled in a single paragraph. Both Amanda Stenberg and Kaitlyn Dever showed why they are some of the best young actresses working today, Dever has had plenty of praise for her role as Zoe Murphy- the sister of the deceased character that the story focuses around, and crush of Evan Hansen. While Stenberg has less credit being made for her also excellent role as Alana Beck, a student at the high school who is an action taker and wants to make a difference for future generations after Connor's suicide. Both actresses deserve to be filled with praise because when they were on screen things were at its best.

As well there was an emotional scene that works so well and had me in my feels between Amy Adams and Danny Pino who play the Murphy parents, both actors being superbly talented they really hit you with emotional jabs to the gut over and over throughout that one painful moment.

Lastly, You Will Be Found is a fantastic song, and that scene was super effective in making me feel less gross about what I was watching.

Its everything in between those far and few moments that doesn't work. Platt being older than all his apparent high school peers took me out of the film on a consistent basis, like if you're gonna cast one older looking person at least make all the other high school students look older otherwise Evan looks like someone that either works at the school, or shouldn't be within ten feet of it. Secondly the emotional manipulative and exploitative story it tells of someone pretending to know someone that committed suicide as a way in the end to become closer to a family that's much better off, and the girl he likes, just feels so wrong.

Also as my girlfriend pointed out moments after our screening, how did the writers not realize how weird it made A) Connor seem, and B) How actually stalker-is Evan seems; when he's singing to Zoe about all of his feelings for her under the guise that it was things Connor thought of his sister.

18%- This movie should get no award prospects, and it is better off being left until its for rent or streaming to watch. Theres far better movies at the theatre to prioritize.

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