BY: PHEOBE HORIBE
I grew up watching movie musicals — at home. I didn’t see a professional performance of a show until I was 18. And I didn’t see my first Broadway show when I was 24! So, I must say, I have a soft spot for curling up on the couch in front of the small screen. However, not all movie musicals are created equal and some are so so SO bad, they’re actually kind of good. Here’s my top 10 list of the best “worst” movie musicals to stream at home when you need a break from quality entertainment.
Les Miserables (2012)
Who cast Russell Crowe in a musical? Who? Someone please tell me who thought this was a good idea (so I can thank them, since I can’t stop watching!).
Slipper and the Rose (1976)
The Cinderella movie that never ends. Just when we thought the story of Cinderella wasn’t bad enough, they had to go and make this movie. They try to make plot twists and turns and it just really makes the storyline really drag. The songs are simple and catchy (really catchy!), ensuring they’ll be stuck in your head all night long, whether you like them or not. Still, do I own this movie on DVD? Absolutely.
I so badly want to love this movie! The blackbox Broadway version of it is so lackluster for me. It’s the roaring ’20s and that decade is always associated with glitz and glam. I actually loved seeing them transition back and forth in the movie from the dull reality of things, to the glitzy points of view from the characters — but my god. Richard Gere and Renee Zellwegger should never be allowed to sing. (Though she was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her role in this, so what do I know?!)
Phantom of the Opera (2004)
Okay, just because Gerard Butler sang in a band, does NOT qualify him to be The Phantom. Did the people who made this movie even care about this movie? Everyone knows if you’re going to cast people who don’t have the necessary skills, they need to at least have a name. Back in 2004, neither Gerard Butler nor Emmy Rossum were well-known enough to draw audiences into the theater and they certainly did not execute this musical well enough to bring any kind of positive attention to it. Still, The Phantom managed to get a horse into his lair, so … there’s that.
Pirates of Penzance (1983)
Gilbert and Sullivan are the Grandfathers of American Musical theater and we love them for that. And I get it. It’s supposed to be funny and ridiculous, but my lord is this movie over the top. This show should stick to the stage where we can all enjoy a bit of slapstick humor and hammy actors. No one wants to see over-the-top acting this close… unless you’re a really big fan of Kevin Kline or Angela Lansbury (which, duh, I AM).
From Justin to Kelly (2003)
Just because you can sing, doesn’t mean you can act. Please don’t assume all singers can act. Most of them can’t. The worst part is the story isn’t even an interesting or unique storyline. It’s a simple boy-meets-girl-during-spring-break-who-isn’t-looking-for-love-and-falls-in-love kind of story. This movie is so 2000’s it hurts. It was not a cute time, but perhaps it was a simpler time. Jeans were low. Highlights were streaky. And flash mobs weren’t called flash mobs yet. When you need a break from this complicated world, From Justin to Kelly delivers.
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018)
The first one was enough ABBA to last me a lifetime. They were really stretching here when they made this movie. The world does not need anymore jukebox musicals, let alone a jukebox sequel! I promise no one wanted to know what happened to Sky and Sophie after they got married, and we already know who Donna was when she was younger. Even Cher couldn’t save this movie. But I still like to watch her try, over and over. And over. (But please, I beg you, do not make a third one.)
Annie features a script for children, written most likely by children. Cheap punchlines, overdone jokes, and actors who are trying way too hard to be funny. WHO DECIDED TO CAST CAMERON DIAZ AS HANNIGAN!? Why would you add new songs if they aren’t going to be good? If you worked on this movie please contact me. I almost have it memorized and I have some questions about the artistic choices that were made.
Rock of Ages (2012)
Sweet Jesus. This is the worst lip-syncing I’ve ever seen in my life, and the amount of editing they did to their voices makes them sound completely different. How much money did they spend on getting famous actors to be in this movie?! And how does Tom Cruise look like that?! Those abs aren’t normal, people. Maybe they were hoping that his tattooed, chiseled chest would distract everyone from noticing he cannot sing? Yes, I’m generally critical of jukebox musicals, but for a good reason, people! You can’t make a good storyline out of songs that have nothing to do with each other. The songs are pretty catchy though. And I also like the wigs.
If I must, why are some of them wearing clothes and some aren’t? And why are some of their clothes made out of fur? Why do they have HUMAN HANDS? Where does the line get drawn? Where did the line even start?? I wish I had all the answers for you, but I just don’t. There’s no rhyme or reason here and we should all just let this movie die and never speak of it again except of course we are all too busy watching it.
… I will say, I’m holding out hope for the In The Heights movie. Its release is currently postponed, which just means we have more time to watch Cats instead.