Let’s face it, if anyone’s going to out-Glee Glee it’s Ryan Murphy. This is a defiantly catchy and appealing meringue with everything – show-stopping dancing, swooping giddying dolly shots, a pulsing catchy score that demands you get up and dance, truckloads of sequins, enough spotlights to illuminate the Empire State, and a rousing queer message: “We’re gonna change the world one lesbian at a time”.
Plus, Meryl Streep (“Straight people like Broadway? I always thought that was a fairy tale”). What more could a gay boy want?
These days, Murphy can get any actors he likes and he has. James Corden is the gay boy wanting acceptance, Nicole Kidman is the third standby showgirl desperate for the leads to break their legs, Andrew Rannells is the actor with stars in his eyes, Meryl is the narcissistic grande dame. Together, they’re a bunch of Broadway losers seeking a cause to raise their profile and hopefully to save their show.
They discover two lesbian schoolgirls, denied their coming-out at the high school dance by the conservative administration, despite the wave of national LGBTIQA+ acceptance. (“This is not America, this is Indiana!”)
Kidman does a great Fosse jazz number, Rannells does the splits mid-air (watch for it) and the two girls are amazing. Add Kerry Washington (Scandal, Little Fires Everywhere) as one of the girls’ mums.
It’s corny, cliched, predictable and stereotyped but FFS, just go with it and have the time of your life. Obviously Murphy hadn’t got all this showbiz whoop-de-doo out of his system after Glee. Maybe he has now, but don’t bank on it. (132 mins, PG-13).
Streaming now on Netflix.