Dear Evan Hansen

Dear Evan Hansen ½

alright lol.

There is so much wrong that even the extremely good aspects of this film are leveled down to mediocre at best. The film feels like there were too many producer/executives input instead of the actual creative team. Instead of an extremely fleshed out story that could have course corrected some of the musicals shortcomings, we have a movie that only contributed more problems to the plot. I was a fan of the musical when just listening to the soundtrack. But upon seeing the live production and getting more of a feel for the plot it quickly fell out for me. The plot is a very hard pill to swallow and the movie only makes it harder. Not only is the audience expected to understand Evans actions and find sympathy in his character, but they are also asked to do it with a middle aged man that looks eerily like your youth group camp counselor who lurked too close to the showers. Platt is a wonderful actor and really does turn in a fantastic performance as Evan, but there is honestly no way to overcome that he is far too old to be playing this role. A large aspect of forgiving Evan and his actions is understanding that he is just a kid, and a kid suffering from extreme mental illness on top of that. But when the role is played by a man who looks 35, there is just no way for your audience to get to that source of sympathy. Additionally his age makes his relationship with Dever extremely hard to watch. Dever does a fine job with a role that hints at a bigger message but the script won't let her get there. Adams is really hitting a wall with the roles she is taking and this one is no exception, nevertheless she turns in a good performance. The real standout from the cast is Stenberg who is really excellent as Alana and her work goes to show that it is possible for a character to make poor decisions and still be sympathetic. The script greatly lets down this actress but more than anyone else she rises above. Moore honestly was terrible in this as another character with hard to swallow character choices. Heidi Hansen is one of the worst written characters in musical and now film history and I will die on this hill. The biggest problem I have with this film is how pure fucking stupid these adults are. Adams, Moore and Pino play parents who are absolutely unfit to raise their children. Connor,Evan and Zoe could not be crying out for help anymore clearly if they tried, and the film does NOTHING to make a point out of it. Instead we get to see Moores character make herself the victim because she was a single parent when her child is literally telling her he actively wanted to kill himself. It is extremely frustrating to see the film not only make the already iffy at best stage production worse in its depiction of mental illness. It is clear that Chobosky, who has handled this subject matter beautifully in his past work, should have been allowed full creative control. The half star is for Stenberg alone.