Dear Evan Hansen

Dear Evan Hansen

Megan Mannelly, Managing Editor

Ever want to watch a subpar, slightly depressing, half-cringe of a movie about victim-blaming? Well, the new Dear Evan Hansen movie has all of those and more! In all seriousness, the new Dear Evan Hansen movie was a complete and utter failure as reviews and money for the film plummeted.

Coming at the audience with 30% rotten tomatoes, Dear Evan Hansen was a complete disappointment to most who watched the movie. But why? Well, the original Broadway musical was about a teen suffering from social anxiety, as he navigates a local tragedy for his own gain. 

The main character, Evan Hansen, is desperate to talk to his crush, a guitar-playing Zoe Murphy (Kaitlyn Dever). But his anxiety gets in the way. To diffuse his uneasiness, his therapist suggests he write peppy letters to himself addressed as “Dear Evan Hansen.” When Zoe’s troubled brother Connor (Colton Ryan), however, takes one of Evan’s letters, only to die by suicide, Evan is tossed in the tumult of a fractured, grieving family. Connor’s parents believe Evan was his best friend. But the reality is far different. Instead of correcting this mistake, Evan plays along with the charade, gaining the fame, adulation, and love he’s always dreamed of. All at the expense of Connor’s memory.

Where does the movie fit into all of this? You may ask yourself. Well, the movie completely shifts the blame off of Evan, making him more of a sympathetic character, which takes away from his original concept of a manipulative jerk. Stephen Chbosky’s cinematic adaptation of “Dear Evan Hansen,” whereby a 27-year-old Ben Platt reprises his role as the teenage titular character is a total misfire. It’s an emotionally manipulative, overlong dirge composed of cloying songs, lackluster vocal performances, and even worse writing.  

In addition to the stories, the songs in the movie were dull at best. The Benj Pasek and Justin Paul penned songs, such as “Only Us,” “Requiem,” “Sincerely, Me” etc. are a ramshackle assemblage of garish arrangements and even worse lyrics that ring with the artificial tinge of a plastic lollipop. To make matters worse, the main character, Evan, is written to be an anxiety-filled, walking teenage mess, much unlike the movies’ portrayal of the character, which does absolutely nothing to even attempt at hiding the fact that a middle-aged man plays the role of a child.

But hey, some people may think it’s an adequate excuse for a movie and that’s alright. It does still show the characters everyone knows and loves from both the book and the musical.

Even so, that doesn’t amount to the broken plot, misguided character traits, and uncanny, wrong placed songs. The new Dear Evan Hansen movie has more characteristics with the Cat’s movie than the actual broadway musical.  

All in all, this movie is a waste of both time and money unless you are planning on watching it to cringe in your seats.