In My Feelings About Dear Evan Hansen

There have been few moments in pop culture that have made me ugly cry: the love letter from The Time Traveler’s Wife, Mark Greene’s death in ER, Adam Driver never winning an Academy Award. But nothing will ever make me ugly cry harder than my first listen to the Dear Evan Hansen Broadway soundtrack.

Words cannot express enough how much I loved this musical and its message of true connection and belonging, acceptance, forgiveness, and the power of social media. Dear Evan Hansen should be required listening for every tween and teen, who no doubt would find themselves in the characters and feel like they’ve been seen or heard, that someone finally gets it – whatever “it” is. Its songs have become anthems for those who feel lost and invisible (“Waving Through a Window”) or those who seek hope in a time when all feels hopeless (“You Will Be Found”). Your tears are a worthy sacrifice just to hear, “Words Fail.”

Well, either I need to start investing in Kleenex now or get my tears duct permanently sealed because this fall, Dear Evan Hansen comes to the big screen.

If you’re wondering, “Did your eyes well up with shimmering tears when you first heard, ‘Dear Evan Hansen, today is going to be an amazing day and here’s why’ or when you first spotted that iconic blue striped shirt? Perhaps hearing the first line from ‘You Will Be Found,'” my answer would be that if you’re asking that in the first place, you’re clearly a robot designed to destroy humanity and must be stopped. Also, yes they did.

Although I’m ready for this movie now, truth be told I’m going to have to work overtime to convince myself that 27 year old Ben Platt looks like *checks her notes* a 17 year old and not an undercover narc sent into a high school to break up a teen drug ring. That if he’s playing a senior in high school, I could play an 18 year old incoming college freshman. When he’s sitting with Amy Adams’s Cynthia Murphy, discussing her son’s death, it looks more like a parent-teacher conference than a teen consoling a grieving parent. It also doesn’t help that this Evan also looks like a teenaged Ross Geller from Friends flashbacks. Google it and tell me I’m wrong.

But I’ll put in the work because quite honestly, the only person who could play Evan Hansen and convey the character’s emotional depth and complexity is the original Evan himself, Ben Platt. In fact, any other actor’s portrayal would just pale in comparison. Almost as pale as the makeup they put on Platt to make him not look like a 40 year old, trolling the halls of your local high school.

Here’s to hoping that all the tears I will be shedding during this film act as a de-aging filter when Dear Evan Hansen makes its big screen debut on September 24th.

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