EVERYBODY’S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE (2021)
Immensely entertaining with non-stop energy and bold musical number, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie struggles to balance its overstuffed plot, yet maintains an irresistible charm throughout.
A film adaptation of the hit West End musical that is based on true events, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie follows the titular teenage character, played by Max Harwood, who dreams of being a drag queen. While he has supportive friends and his mother in his corner, others, including his distant father, are not so kind. To be clear, Harwood is an absolute sensation in this film, embodying the character in every way and knocking each of his performances out of the park. While the musical numbers are often fun and inventive, used cleverly to reveal past events and propel the story forward, others are half-baked and guilty of creating a lull in the film. The positive energy and messages of inclusion never cease, however, completely delivering a feel-good tale.
Director Jonathan Butterell plays with many different approaches to the songs, from introspective numbers that tickle the emotions to full-blown choreographed extravaganzas similar to High School Musical. While there is a depth to not only the character of Jamie, but the film itself, one can’t help but feel that the pervasive innocence of the supporting cast limits believability and impact. There also is the strange casting of Richard E. Grant as a gay drag queen that raises some eyebrows, but is well-acted.
Ultimately the film delivers on its premise, however rushed the second act (per the stage musical) may be, but fans of the original production are sure to be captivated by this faithful execution while newcomers will find something to sing about.
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is now playing in limited theaters and hits Amazon Prime Video tomorrow.
Photo from IMDb