Top 10 Musicals for Guys Who Hate Musicals
Clint Eastwood's JERSEY BOYS aims to be the type of musical that appeals to a broad audience, especially those who aren't big musical fans. If you are one of those guys out there who discount musicals just because of stereotypes or other biases, here is a list of the ten best musical films you can check out without worrying about your man card. If you have a recommendation that didn't make the list, feel free to add it to the talk backs below.
A vastly different experience on film than it was on stage, HAIR is nonetheless a very enjoyable movie from director Milos Forman that focuses on the peace and free love movements of the 1960s. Featuring Treat Williams and Beverly D'Angelo, the musical aspect of the film is very strong and features several numbers you may not realize originated from HAIR. Definitely influenced by rock n' roll, HAIR is not your standard Broadway musical.
A musical film that floundered upon theatrical release only to receive a second look when it became a Broadway hit, NEWSIES stars Christian Bale before he became Batman and a full cast that includes Bill Pullman and Robert Duvall. Being a Disney film, NEWSIES definitely has a sunny streak despite being all about child labor at the turn of the century. Some pretty elaborate dance numbers and memorable songs makes NEWSIES a cult favorite.
You cannot go wrong with Mel Brooks. THE PRODUCERS was already an iconic comedy film before becoming a brilliant stage musical with performances from Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick. The film may not capture all of the magic the stage show had, but it definitely enjoys the benefit of adding Uma Thurman and Will Ferrell to the cast. If anything, seeing Will Ferrell sing a song about Hitler makes THE PRODUCERS a must watch.
I toyed with putting the recent Jason Segel/Amy Adams THE MUPPETS on here, but in reality the original THE MUPPET MOVIE is where you should start. Full of musical numbers, THE MUPPET MOVIE feels the ever present Jim Henson in every frame. Younger audiences may be bored by the pacing of the film, but for my money you cannot go wrong with the original Kermit the Frog road trip. If "Rainbow Connection" doesn't get you to sing along, you have no soul.
Not just a musical, but a Tim Burton musical. Not just a Tim Burton musical, but a Tim Burton musical that is also a horror movie. THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS may have the bigger fan base, but SWEENEY TODD represents a more traditional stage musical adaptation using all of Burton's strengths in set design. Visually macabre, this may not have the strongest vocals of other musicals but it definitely has a unique quality you don't see very often.
Animated films are musicals, too! While most Disney animated films prior to the current century were primarily musical in nature, some folks say those are just for kids and do not enjoy themselves. But, SOUTH PARK proved to teens and adults alike that musicals can be crass, gross, and wholly inappropriate. SOUTH PARK reached a level many didn't expect by actually making a damn fine musical film. Years later, Trey Parker and Matt Stone created THE BOOK OF MORMON which may get added to this list once it is finally adapted for the big screen.
If you are a car guy, GREASE may be the musical for you. Sure, it features dancing and singing, but the entire premise of the film is rooted in machismo and things guys like. There is almost nobody out there who doesn't like GREASE and that is because it is a completely relatable story for most American teens from any generation. Travolta was at his first prime and Olivia Newton-John was the perfect amalgam of girl next door and sexy babe.
Until the inevitable remake with Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, we can all recall the immortal magic that was Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra as the epitome of cool in suits, crooning tunes that make the babes melt. Don't let yourself miss this great movie just because it is sixty years old. GUYS AND DOLLS is about gamblers and criminals and the underworld they inhabit, only set to music!
Another classic. Alongside CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, WILL WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY is a movie completely full of music that I never considered as a musical just because it was such a huge part of my childhood. But, everything about WILLY WONKA is what you find in your standard musical film only with the brilliance of Gene Wilder and the insane and surreal set design courtesy of Mel Stuart and the LSD-laden 1970s.
F*ck you, THE BLUES BROTHERS is a musical, I don't care what you say. Musicals don't just have to be about the characters breaking into song at random points in time or to further plot development. Sometimes music is so integral to the fabric of the tale that it cannot be ignored. THE BLUES BROTHERS is one of the funniest movies of all time and one of the best musicals ever made. If you haven't seen it, you are missing our on so much that I cannot fit into this paragraph. If you are someone who never had a favorite musical before and you love THE BLUES BROTHERS, you can now consider yourself a fan of the genre.