Dear Evan Hansen (2021) Poster

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I don't understand the hate!
adammarkwalker-5706419 September 2021
I have never been so emotionally invested in a movie before. It was amazing from the direction to the music to the acting.

So what if he's older then the character he's playing.... It's called acting. Nobody has more experience with that character then Ben Platt.

I urge everyone to watch this movie with an open mind. Let it draw you in to the performances. You won't regret it.
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From stage to screen in a good way.
oaksong27 September 2021
I'm appalled. People writing many of these reviews must have seen a different film. They also say things about the stage version that didn't happen (and also in the film.) One person stated Connor committed suicide *because* of Ben's letter. That's actually funny.

Someone else said it derides people with mental health issues. Huh?

The story from the stage is actually clarified. Some scenes have been shuffled around to provide a better linear story.

The acting is very much spot on. How will people behave when they want to believe something other than the facts. Ben, given his issues, is put in an untenable situation and follows through in an effort to protect himself even though he knows it's wrong. But at the same time he's protecting Connor's mother's fantasy. Which is the greater wrong?

Life is messy. This story is about finding the heart in the messiness.
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Should've Been Much Better
sweidman-2801612 September 2021
"Dear Evan Hansen, today's going to be an amazing day and here's why..."

Dear Evan Hansen is a film adaptation of the Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical about Evan Hansen, a high school senior with a severe social anxiety disorder, whose letter to himself, one that was not meant to be seen by others, lands into the wrong hands of a fellow classmate who, as a result, commits suicide. This incident sends Evan on a journey of self-discovery and gives him the chance to finally be accepted by his peers and live the life he never dreamed he could have. Let's get the obvious out of the way. There's been some skepticism and hate surrounding the movie ever since the trailer dropped, mainly because Ben Platt (27) is playing a high school student. Is it distracting? Very. But once you get past it, he does give a good performance. Obviously, he knows this character well, much better than the movie knows itself. It's a shame because it doesn't match up well. From what I know, the story here is close to that of the stage performance. The only thing is there's a different understanding in direction. Stephen Chbosky has proven to be a good director in the past, especially with The Perks of Being a Wallflower. A task as big as this is hard not only because of the hype from the musical, but also because it's such a heavy subject to touch upon. This tries to be much more sympathetic with Evan, but as it goes along it's really hard to like him and some other characters. I wanted to feel bad for him because he's struggling, but choices made and the overall feel of the movie don't help with it.

The movie is a bit uneven. I liked it in pieces, but the flow can't get it right. Some scenes understand the right amount of emotion and tension. Those mainly came from Kaitlyn Dever, my favorite performance from the movie, and Amy Adams. They showcase the most amount of grief and anger that's understandable. Because most of the movie plays it too dramatic, it's nice to see a performance that can take away from that part. And the runtime may feel a little long, but once we get those scenes, it feels rewarding at the time. The amount of musical numbers isn't a whole lot and none are these big showy sequences with choreography, but I like that. I'm not sure if the stage performance is like that, but the lowkey nature of those numbers fits well. I wish I could say I liked Dear Evan Hansen more, but it falls short. It's one of those movies that I didn't mind but will soon forget. And maybe part of it had to do with the audience I watched it with, but I'll get into that in a second. Some people are going to connect with this and find it to be an emotional experience. And some are going to hate this because of the unlikable characters. This feels like an easy transfer to screen musical, but it's that easiness that made it weak.

Ok, so I got to see this early (last week) because I'm at an arts school. I know a few other schools had this opportunity as well. I was very disappointed with the crowd. A good majority we're already making fun of the movie before it started, and once it did it spread throughout the whole room. I understand that this movie is focusing on a tough subject and we all respond in different ways, but when someone is given the news that their son has died and then are grieving and going through a tough time, you should not be laughing hysterically. Sometimes it was hard to hear the movie because people were talking over it and basically mocking it. All I could think is since this is such an early screening and a privilege to attend, what if the director was there? Or if some representatives of the film were there? Luckily none were. It was almost embarrassing to be apart of it. People need to understand movie theater etiquette and how to compose themselves in a situation like this. I wish I could've experienced this in a different way.
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Pleasantly Surprised.
hannahevy13 September 2021
I was fortunate enough to see Dear Evan Hansen at its premiere at TIFF. While I didn't have any expectations for the film going in, I left impressed.

Ben Platt and Amandla Stenberg's performances were very strong in particular. I felt they were able to demonstrate their character's flaws in a way that made it apparent that these characters aren't meant to be perfect or looked up to. They're meant to be human. They make questionable choices, and they're met with the consequences for their actions. This was refreshing to see.

Being a teenager who experiences anxiety and social anxiety myself, Ben Platt's performance of Evan Hansen hit home for me. I felt that the creative choices made (especially in 'Waving Through A Window') captured what it is like to experience anxiety. I appreciated that they presented anxiety in a way that didn't romanticize or sugarcoat it.

Given that most teens aren't portrayed by teen actors (see 'Love, Simon', 'Riverdale', 'Fear Street', 'Outerbanks', etc) I didn't find their choice to cast adults in teen roles offensive. Everyone was able to hold their own as both actors and singers, so I couldn't ask for more in this regard. They also presented the musical numbers in ways that weren't forced or showy. I especially liked the way they approached 'The Anonymous Ones', 'Waving Through A Window', 'Requiem', and 'So Big/So Small', as they highlighted how each individual has different mental battles. I feel these numbers worked together to provide audiences with a worthy reminder that we aren't alone in our struggles.

In my opinion, choosing Stephen Chbosky to direct the film was the right decision. Through this, they made a film that sticks with its audience: something touching that you'll think about days after watching it. I also appreciated how they ended the film in a way that is actually realistic/true to a real-life experience.

All in all, I would recommend seeing this movie. At the absolute least, it will remind you to value and look out for those around you, and that you're not alone.
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Amazing Movie, worth the wait!
fzxkjqr20 September 2021
Wonderful performances (especially Ben Platt)! Emotional and soulful.
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The Movie is Incredible
autumnjoiner28 September 2021
Ignore the people that say that this movie is insensitive, they are missing the point. You aren't meant to think it's okay what Evan is doing. You are SUPPOSED to feel uncomfortable with the situation and it is very effective. I haven't felt such an emotional roller coaster of feelings in a film in a long time and that is what cinema is meant to do. The movie covered a plethora of topics on all sides of the mental health spectrum and how the youth cope with it.

Overall it's a great movie that isn't afraid to have a flawed character as the lead and I loved that about it.
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Don't write it off from other's opinions-see it for yourself first.
enchantedarietta24 September 2021
As someone with a deep connection to the musical, I was nervous. I didn't care for the novel adaptation at all, so why would I trust that the movie would handle the story well. But I'm so glad I didn't let the premature negatives sway me-I loved it.

It's a story of isolation, of grief, of hope. It's about what we do at our very worst, most desperate, and how we come to terms with having done unforgivable things. As someone with anxiety I feel incredibly seen by this film, how it paints what horrible lies you can resort to in the hopes of avoiding conflict, and the spirals you can fall down in attempts to maintain said lies. As someone who has lost someone, the conflicting displays of grief also hit home. You never react the way you expect yourself to. In all it's a very human narrative, about how we fall apart and pick up the pieces.

It had all the same emotional resonance as the stage version for me. It's no replacement for the live experience, of course, but it definitely holds up in my opinion. Almost all of the changes (even the ones I was skeptical of going into it) felt entirely justified, and even if I wasn't entirely on board with a change, it never detracted from my enjoyment. The music was stellar, and Ben Platt's performance was on par with his Broadway run (which i had the incredible privilege to see in person). Amandla Stenberg's Alana was also a standout, reducing me to tears with her song about how even invisible struggles are still a heavy burden on someone.

All in all, I think it's an important story that deserves to be heard. It's always been a bit of a divisive narrative, refusing to take a black and white stance on the themes it tackles. This doesn't sit right with some people. But personally, I find the muddy grey morality of this story utterly refreshing. Life is messy, human connection is messy, mistakes are messy. I think it's important for people to hear that no matter their misdeeds, they can still recover and come out the other side a better person.
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Outstanding Original Musical That Speaks Directly To The Heart
rannynm1 October 2021
The film musical Dear Evan Hansen, directed by Stephen Chbosky, is phenomenal and breathtaking. I really enjoyed watching this, because it is a true original, outstanding musical that speaks directly to the heart. Dear Evan Hansen is something extraordinary; it is not like any musical I have watched before and it has a really powerful message as it engages with the real world in ways that most musicals don't.

Evan Hansen is an anxious, isolated high-school student who's aching for understanding and belonging amid the chaos and cruelty of the social media age. He soon embarks on a journey of self-discovery when a letter he wrote for his therapy writing exercise falls into the hands of a grieving couple whose son took his own life. Evan is tossed in the tumult of a fractured, grieving family. Connor's parents believe Evan was his best friend. But the reality is far different. Evan plays along with the charade, gaining the fame, adulation and love that he's always dreamed of - all at the expense of Connor's memory.

My favourite actor is Evan's mother Heidi (Julianne Moore). Heidi is a single mom, working late-night nursing shifts to afford college for Evan. She desperately wants the best for him, even when he doesn't notice her efforts. The film's best scenes revolve around her; the first occurring when Cynthia and Larry offer to cover Evan's tuition. She's proud. And you can see the gears shifting inside of Heidi's head before she declines. The film offers sympathy to all its characters by offering them the chance to sing their feelings out and make a case as to why they matter.

The message of this film applies to teens trying to overcome social anxieties, reminding them that it's okay to be anxious and depressed, and that being medicated for those things, if necessary, is normal and healthy. However, don't change yourself just to fit into society; stand up for yourself. If something happens and you are caught up in the situation, be confident in yourself, no matter what. A note of caution: this film does address suicide, has some strong language and some suggestive references.

I give Dear Evan Hansen 4 out of 5 stars and recommend this film for ages 13 to 18, plus adults. It is available in theatres now. By Josephine M., KIDS FIRST!
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Wonderful movie
wcall22 September 2021
People are far too harsh. The negative reviews are obnoxiously nitpicky.
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Loved every bit of it.
kenthleguro17 September 2021
I love how they translate the story from stage to screen. Every feeling I've felt from seeing the Broadway Musical remained the same on this movie, and I loved it. Ben Platt's performance here is very excellent as well as Amy Adams and the rest of the cast. I love every little changes they made from the stage musical and it fits perfectly to the movie. Still a heartfelt story with more tear jerker moments. I recommend everyone who wants to see this to bring bunch of tissues or shoulder to cry on.
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Ever heard about suicide?
henrysufilim19 September 2021
For me, this movie shows the awareness, the important of friends. People who don't mind we share our story with. When someone is alone, they will keep on overthinking and friends help solve almost everything. Family also play an important role in this movie, family love is everything for their children. That's how children fight for their future.
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kenzibit3 October 2021
A good story to be watched by the whole family. Has lots of lessons for both parents and kids. Ben Platt did a wonderful job with his performance in this movie, acting all scared and naive... I really admired that. The good selection of music and voice performances made this a worthy watch, highly recommend this.
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Best musical to film adaptation!!!
kyledoucette27 September 2021
Preface: I am an avid musical lover and have seen Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway. I have also seen stage videos (ie. Hamilton, Come From Away, Miss Saigon, etc) and musical to film adaptations (ie. Hairspray, Rent, In The Heights, etc.).

Review: The movie was almost word for word, scene by scene the same as the musical. There are obviously some minor additions/deletions and slight character development differences, but in my opinion, these differences were enhancements to the overall beauty of the film.

Ben Platt is a treat to watch perform. I love how the movie includes many live vocal takes and even leaves in voice cracks and pitch wobbles to capture an emotional rawness. The supporting cast also held their own and produced beautiful art! Hats off to the casting crew.

A lot of the bad reviews camp out on a few irrelevant points of contention.

1) Ben Platt is too old to play the role. Response: Sure, Ben celebrated his 27th b-day while filming, but his co-star is also 24. One distinguishable characteristic about Ben, is his baby face. He's always looked younger, and when you compare him to the other high school kids, it's definitely within reason that he is the same age. Plus, adult actors playing high schoolers, is not a new phenomenon. Think of Back to the Future, Grease, 90210, etc.

2) Nepotism. Response: I don't buy this argument for a second. Yes Ben's father is one of the producers. But Ben is the original Evan Hansen. You can't say he got the role because of his father. The best person for the role was chosen, and Ben Platt is that person!

3) Evan Hansen is a bad person and the movie glorifies him and his mistakes. Response: I don't agree at all. This movie portrays a boy who felt the full force of his mistakes and has to choose to "step into the sun" to deal with the grief of his mistakes. As an audience member, there is a difference between empathy and agreement. It is perfectly healthy to show empathy for someone and not agree with the choices they've made. Especially when the character takes ownership for their behaviour.

I hope you choose to watch the movie and don't let the bad reviews away your decision!!
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trevorsondrol23 September 2021
I seriously don't understand the hate, the musical helped me through some of my darkest times... it was everything and more that I wanted! Ben Platt has the voice of an angel and delivers THE BEST PERFORMANCE OF HIS CAREER! I loved it. You will be found.
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Everyone needs to see this
Shaneparkinson18 September 2021
It's the most relevant musical that boldly shines a light on teenage mental health in a world where a ten word social media remark holds more power then we know!
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Exceeded expectations
vandrl25 September 2021
Amazing musical turned into a very respectable movie. Ben Platt, while too old for the character, can't be exceeded in portraying Evan. My expectations were high and they were met.
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A Bit Messy
lucilleballer10 September 2021
While Dear Evan Hansen's score and music were always great, the subject itself bordered on offensive, and in fact was very offensive to many with mental health problems. The movie itself was horrible, just messy and kept these same problems that it always had.

And I don't care what Ben Platt thinks about originating the role and believing he's fully entitled to it: someone could have done it better in film.

It would be different if every scene was shot from twenty feet or more away the whole film, but it was not, and his age difference was incredibly visible. And bordering on uncomfortable as it's hard to see him as the age of (or anywhere remotely NEAR the age of) the character he's trying to play, and the characters who he is playing alongside. It hinges on creepy.

His released statement about his casting reeked of the obvious nepotism that got him the movie role, and the reason for the casting decision puts a fog over the whole movie and makes it difficult to watch - knowing that he feels too possessive of the role for anyone else to play it.

Anyways. Movie in general isn't great. If you like DEH, give it a watch, but it's not worth the general audience's time.
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So inspiring and relatable!
ginasharp7 October 2021
I LOVED this movie. I went. Into it not knowing the story. It is an amazing story filled with all kinds of emotions. I think every person who watches this can relate somehow to the emotions of these characters at some point in their life. This film lingers with you days after watching and the songs are just beautiful! A MUST see, best film I have seen in a long time!
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just no
elizabeth_77726 September 2021
Platt is a decade too old for this role of a compulsive liar that basically ruins a family's life. And for those blaming his anxiety, i have anxiety myself, and it does not excuse these actions.
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Don't listen to the hate!!!
javerylarson29 September 2021
My review of Dear Evan Hansen:

Outstanding movie! I have seen the stage musical before so I was excited to see this. Ben Platt shines as the role he originated on Broadway. I laughed, I cried, and smiled. Platt's performance reminds us why he won Best Actor at the Tony Awards in 2017. This was a movie we all need and reminds us no one deserves to be forgotten or disappear. Everyone deserves a friend. I give this movie a standing ovation!
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HI! Not paid to make this review here: WONDERFUL MOVIE
Jacksonsev21 September 2021
I have absolutely no credentials to explain to you why this movie was great, and I don't make reviews often at all. I literally go to the movies by myself very frequently because I just LOVE watching movies. I was able to get early showing tickets to this movie and was excited, to say the least, because I loved the musical. The acting from everyone was incredible (including Ben platt who did spectacularly even though he does look very old compared to an average high schooler) but his voice and the emotion he conveyed was very real in my opinion. The story, the music, the characters: every aspect of this movie was phenomenal. Loved the direction Stephen Chbosky (or however you spell it) took this movie in. I am definitely going to watch this movie more times in theaters with my friends to see their reactions!! GO WATCH TO SHED SOME HEALTHY TEARS AND BE THOROUGHLY MOVED!!
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actually great
maddiececilia26 September 2021
I've been a big fan of Ben Platt for a long time. I won't lie. But after hearing the reviews of this movie I told myself I would go in with an unbiassed opinion. I actually really enjoyed it everyone played the role perfectly and the storyline was maybe even better than the one on Broadway as it had a more satisfying ending. I hate when movies change from the book or something it's based off of but I actually really enjoyed this. Anyone who hates on this movie either want ABF to play Evan or hates musicals.
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Why the negative reviews
colewaters26 September 2021
I don't understand why all the hate this is a very great movie. The songs are awesome. Ben Platt is absolutely awesome.
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Shocker, a 30 year old can't pass for a teen
abudisofunny18 September 2021
If ever there existed a movie to highlight the importance of casting, this is it.

No matter how talented Ben is, it's just too difficult to concentrate on anything happening when a 29 year old who looks like a 40 year old is playing a 17 year old.
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robertslulu16 September 2021
Amazing, loved it so much. It was definitely the right choice for Ben Platt to reprise his role.
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