Now, I know a lot of people don't exactly jump for joy at the prospect of a musical. In fact, many appear to be allergic to the word. "Hey, wanna go see Les Miserables with me this weekend?" "Ew, no, isn't that a musical?"
Well, yes. It is. It is, indeed, a musical. And it's one you and your family absolutely cannot miss.
I'm not here to write a review of the new Tom Hooper film adaptation of Les Miserables starring Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Amanda Seyfried. You can find those anywhere. Besides, my opinion would be way too biased. I'm just here am here to tell you that, as a teenage girl, I'm a proud Les Miserables fan. And I can assure you, it's a must-see, whether you like musicals or not.
Les Mis has been my favorite musical since I first saw it performed live. I'm not into the musicals that are all happy-dancey-sing-along types, with neatly convenient happy endings and not much real emotion. No, I love Les Mis, with its gritty realism, historical significance, and raw emotions that will actually make you embarrass yourself by crying in the audience. Not to worry, though-- everyone else will be crying, too.
Of course, don't expect a complete sobfest. Les Miserables isn't all miserable. I won't ruin anything for you, but rest assured, you'll walk out of the theater satisfied with how things went. Don't expect all sad songs, either-- the music will make you want to march up from your seat and join the revolution. If you don't believe me, check out iTunes-- the highlights from the soundtrack were just released.
And then there's the powerhouse, star-studded cast. I usually only see Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, but in Les Mis, he plays an incredibly good Jean Valjean. And Anne Hathaway, an actress I grew up with (Princess Diaries, anyone?) broke my heart as Fantine. Don't even get me started on Amanda Seyfried, whose lovely voice will make you forget you ever saw her in Mean Girls. I'm a huge critic who scrutinized everyone's performance to see if they'd meet my expectations (and let me tell you, Les Mis fans have high expectations), and they did. All the way. If anything, go see the movie because you'll smell some Oscars coming.
I even dragged the boyfriend along, after assuring him that there would be plenty of fighting scenes. Ladies, if you are having any problems convincing your man to watch the movie with him, fear not. There's plenty of battling going on. It is set in 19th century France, after all. They really did like their revolutions.
I wouldn't bring the small children, though. Like I said, this musical isn't the type to gloss over reality, and the movie is rated PG-13 for that reason. There's prostitution, violence, and some slow love songs (possibly the most dreaded of the three for audiences). But it never gets too graphic. And the movie is great for the rest of the family. I saw it with mine, and it was the perfect way to spend some time together on Christmas.
And so, if you're looking for something to do over this holiday with family and friends, buy tickets to Les Miserables. Give it a chance.
You just might surprise yourself and become a fan.