I was twelve years old when High School Musical (2006) came out. I was fifteen when the third and final movie came out. Naturally, I was in love with Zac Efron. I fell more in love with him in Hairspray (2007) and 17 Again (2009). Several years later, he starred as the male lead in the Nicholas Sparks movie, The Lucky One (2012). While it was neither Efron’s best role nor Sparks’ best story, I was still in love with Zac Efron. Then, came This is Awkward (2014), Neighbors (2014), Dirty Grandpa (2016), Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016), and Baywatch (2017). To each their own when it comes to taste in movies. I’m not a fan of raunchy comedies though. I like movies with substance. With each empty movie, came more disinterest from me for Zac Efron.
When The Greatest Showman (2017) came out, I was wary. I didn’t know what the movie was about and I was growing more and more skeptical of Efron’s movie choices. I only knew Hugh Jackman from X-Men (2000) and Les Miserables (2012), so I was indifferent toward him. As for Zendaya, I wasn’t a fan, and I didn’t know the other actors.
Two weeks ago, I learned The Greatest Showman is a PG-rated movie. Because Efron is in it, I had assumed it is at least PG-13, but I was happy to be wrong. Last week, I watched friends from church fangirl over the music from the movie and learned it was a musical. Cool, it was a rated-PG musical! I was a little more interested than before, but I was still kind of indifferent. When my high school best friend asked me to go see it with her, I knew I had to go see it. Within seconds, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved it.
Hugh Jackman is PHENOMENAL in this movie! I’ll be honest, I don’t care that much about Logan/Wolverine. When I watch X-Men, I’m more a fan of Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat, Rogue, Bobby Drake/Iceman, and Scott Summers/Cyclops! Even in Les Miserables, I didn’t watch it for Jean Valjean. Yes, I loved him in that movie, but I watched it for Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, and Eddie Redmayne.
Today though, I fell in love with Hugh Jackman as he became P.T. Barnum! I am a dreamer through and through. I never give up on my dreams, and yet, Hugh Jackman made me believe in my dreams today! P.T. Barnum showed me that dreams can and do come true! As much as I believed in dreams, love, and family before watching this movie, it’s like I started from ground zero! The Greatest Showman made me believe in dreams, love, and family today! Before watching this movie, the size of my dreams was nothing in comparison to how big they are now!
Phillip Carlyle! What can I say about Phillip Carlyle? Phillip Carlyle is a rich boy turned family man. He finds acceptance, love, and joy in the heart of a performer and her family of choice. Then, against his own expectations, he becomes a performer himself. The duet between his character and Zendaya’s is so beautiful it might have turned me into a Zendaya fan! It’s also a big part of the reason why I’ve fallen in love with him again.
This role shows how much Zac Efron has grown in the twelve years since his debut on High School Musical. In the first movie, his acting was a little forced and he didn’t even sing his own songs. He lip-synced through the entire first movie. As the trilogy progressed, so did his talent. By the end of the third movie, he was singing all his own songs. He had even played an important role in a remake of the musical movie Hairspray. Between Hairspray and The Greatest Showman, Efron has one other singing credit to his name as Ted in The Lorax (2012). With each singing role, he has honed deeper and stronger skills. Singing alongside Hugh Jackman can’t be an easy task, but he seemed to hold his own in their duet, “The Other Side.” Granted, even I wouldn’t say Efron is quite as talented as Jackman, but he did hold his own.
Then, of course, there was the female lead Michelle Williams as Charity Barnum. Being that she is a fairly established actress, one would assume she would deliver in this role. I didn’t know who she was before this movie. After viewing her filmography on IMDB, I know that I have seen her one role, as Annie/Glinda in Oz the Great and Powerful. Now that I am familiar with her, I can say I’m a fan. Williams plays well as the supportive wife, mother, and co-dreamer. Her love for Jackman’s Barnum is believable and her voice is beautiful. To be honest, I actually enjoy her singing more than the supposed greatest opera singer in the world. Loren Alfred is very talented, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t prefer her to Williams.
Who can forget the darling daughters, Caroline and Helen Barnum played by Austyn Johnson and Cameron Seely? These sweet faces and beautiful singers may be my favorite part of the movie! What can I say? I love children! Okay, maybe they’re not my favorite part, but they were great in their roles! I’ll be looking forward to seeing them take on more roles as they grow older!
My goodness! Can we talk about that opening scene? I doubt I have ever loved a movie so much in the first five seconds. That’s coming from the self-proclaimed obsessive girl. This movie though immediately drew me into the plot and setting! Needless to say, I was invested from that point forward! If I had the money, then I would definitely sit and watch The Greatest Showman over and over until I’m sick of it. Is that even possible? I don’t know, but don’t take my word for it! If you haven’t seen The Greatest Showman yet, then drop everything and go watch it now! Seriously, even if you have already seen it, then drop everything and go watch it again! It has love, dreams, passion, family, friends, music, and people who rise above the status quo! If you don’t love this movie for at least one reason, then I have to question your taste in movies! Sorry.
Seriously, I’m currently listening to the soundtrack for the tenth time since the movie ended at 3:30 this afternoon. And, because I can’t go rewatch it again right now, I’m settling for getting my Efron and Jackman fix by watching each High School Musical movie, Hairspray, and Les Mis! Don’t judge me!