Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Why men should embrace musicals

jersey-boys.jpg

ShortList’s Film Editor Andrew Dickens on why we should enjoy song-and-dance cinema

Let’s go fly a kite, up to the highest height. Let’s go fly a kite and send it soaring. Up through the atmosphere, up where the air is clear. Oh, let’s go fly a kite.

You all know the tune, so press play on your internal iPod (other internal digital music devices are available) and have a listen. I’d wager tuppence that you most of you feel a bit happier.

This week sees the release of Clint Eastwood’s fine film adaptation of Jersey Boys, the phenomenally successful Frankie Valli-inspired stage musical. Much has been said about this being a ‘manly musical’, a musical us with the extra chromosome can watch without shame, despair or anger, because it’s got the mafia in it and because it’s David Beckham’s favourite show.

Poppycock. And I don’t use that word lightly. Why segregate musicals, on screen or stage, between what’s acceptable for any man concerned with maintaining an air of masculinity and what isn’t? Why are The Book of Mormon and Avenue Q ok, Grease and The King And I not?

Because they’re funny? Because they’re subversive? Because the dance routines are less flamboyant? Are we so self-conscious now that we can’t let rip to Pure Imagination or Fame because it’s not ‘cool’ to do so, no matter how much we actually enjoy it? Bunkum. And I never use that word at all. If you love music and films and plays, you should love something that combines those things, even if it isn’t being ironic or pointing a satirical tune at the world.

I judge myself here, by the way. I saw The Sound of Music on New Year’s Day and I was ashamed. Not because I cried when Captain von Trapp sang with his children, thus rediscovering his love of music and – dare I say - himself, but because it was the first time I’d watched the film in its entirety and I couldn’t believe I’d deprived myself for so many years out of sheer masculine idiocy.

If you don’t like musicals in general, that’s fine. I have little love for horror films. I also appreciate that bad musicals are really bad. There’s nothing worse than an already terrible film punctuated by painfully-crowbarred pop songs from the Eighties or Cliff Richard singing on a f*cking bus.

But if you do like musicals, yet feel hampered by the fear of being labelled effete, shed the ugly cape of vanity and embrace them all – from Aida to Zorba - because most of them will make you happy. Or sad. But mainly supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

Jersey Boys is in cinemas now and the stage show is currently on at the Piccadilly Theatre

Related

reservoir dogs.jpg

Best Music Moments in Film

LALALAND.jpg

The 50 coolest movie soundtracks

elizabethtown.jpg

Great soundtrack, shame about the movie

movie-songs.jpg

Songs more famous than the films they're from

overused-trailer-songs.jpg

10 Overused Trailer Songs

615x330-bttf.jpg

Back To The Future musical imminent

Comments

More

The very best 'so-bad-they're-good' movies you absolutely need to see

Thought 'The Room' was bad? You ain't seen nothing yet

by Gary Ogden
21 Jul 2017

Watch the trailer for 'The Disaster Artist', the film about 'The Room'

James Franco steps into Tommy Wiseau's infamous boots

by Gary Ogden
18 Jul 2017

The 90% or higher-rated Rotten Tomatoes films you've never seen before

Hidden gems you have to add to your list

by Carl Anka
18 Jul 2017

Why the 'Planet of The Apes' series is the best trilogy of the century

The prequel series is that rarest of things: a trilogy without a dud

by Carl Anka
18 Jul 2017

An immersive Star Wars hotel is coming and it looks amazing

Like a Star Wars-themed Westworld - but real

by Gary Ogden
17 Jul 2017

George A. Romero, creator of Night of the Living Dead, dies at 77

Fans and celebrities have paid tribute to him on Twitter

by Gary Ogden
17 Jul 2017

Talking haircuts and Dunkirk with Cillian Murphy in a hall of mirrors

"To an actor, nostalgia is death. The next piece I do will be the best piece I do."

by Chris Mandle
14 Jul 2017

Quentin Tarantino's new movie will be based on an infamous murder case

He's dipping into true crime

by Gary Ogden
12 Jul 2017

The 10/10-rated movies Reddit says you have to see before you die

How many have you seen?

by Matt Tate
12 Jul 2017

The 10 scariest, must-see horror movies at London's Frightfest

Essential for fright fans

by Gary Ogden
11 Jul 2017