Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Why I Walked Out on the Greatest Showman


Being in Sarasota, home of Ringling Bros circus, it seemed destined that we would see this story of P.T. Barnum. So ignoring the terrible reviews, we went with the high approval rating by viewers. We made it through an hour-an hour filled with little authenticity, little based on fact. But when Jenny Lind stepped onto the stage circa 1850 and sang a song straight out of AMERICAN IDOL, with no resemblance to an operatic aria such as what she sang back then, we eased our way out. The audience around us was obviously enthralled with the film, but we just couldn't overlook the historical inaccuracies. The movie was unwilling to look the sideshow characters he collected in the face. They were kept in the background so we could admire Jackman and Zac Efron instead.
It was probably us. Either you are swept away or you are not.

9 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

I know what you mean, Patti. I admit I've not seen this film, but I have seen other films that do the same thing. I might have walked out, too.

George said...

I saw the trailer to THE GREATEST SHOWMAN and knew it was going to be terrible. But, it's still pulling in audiences and money!

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Movie held no interest for me. Trailer looked terrible. Surprised it became such a big hit.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I never considered seeing this, any more than Baz Luhrmann's MOULIN ROUGE. It's not you, it's them! Crap is crsp, and clearly this is crap.

Elgin Bleecker said...

Glad to hear you two walked out. I do it all the time (although my wife usually stays and texts me when it is over). This season, I walked out on three Academy Award nominees.

pattinase (abbott) said...

But at least make it about what it's supposed to be about. And the music was awful-in any era.

Todd Mason said...

Baz L is always an invitation for me to not bother.

Todd Mason said...

Ah...I assumed too much! Well, thanks for the warning.

J F Norris said...

This curmudgeon (who also thought it was a Baz Luhrman movie until one week before I decided to see it) enjoyed almost all of it. I agree with the criticism about Jenny Lind's character not singing opera as well as the inaccurate depiction of an attempt at a romance between Barnum and the Swedish singer (Cy Coleman's musical back in the late 1970s did the same thing. Irritating.) But other than those gripes I loved every minute of this hokey, old-fashioned movie dripping in clich├ęs from 1950s cheesy sentimental movie musicals. I thought it a perfect example of fake Hollywood. It's a movie about a humbug and a man who lied to make money and it's unabashed in its fakery of his life. Joe was beaming throughout and was singing along to "This Is Me." Because he's been almost clinically depressed for months now that alone made it worth going for me. Sure knocked the blues out of him. I'm proud to be part of a crowd that is making this a massive hit. And I'm so excited that Keala Settle (immensely talented and known only to Broadway audiences) is getting loads of attention for signing the only good song in the movie.