(Originally posted on The Media Minx )
Why do people insist on making popular Broadway musicals into feature films? I know that it worked back in the earlier part of the 20th century, but things were quaint back then…not to mention it was way harder to get to an actual theater to see a live performance. I think it is also important to mention that many of the classic movie musicals were written specifically to be shown on the screen, Cinderella for instance.
Movie musicals eventually fell out of fashion…but when exactly did they come back? Now every freakin show that gets any recognition at all is turned immediately into a movie. Some of you may remember my previous comments regarding the ridiculous attempt at Rent by Chris Columbus. Needless to say, some musicals just do not need to be made into movies. Andrew Lloyd Webber just keeps pushing the envelope on that. First with Evita starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas (nice) and then with The Phantom of the Opera (POTO). I am going to go out on a limb and say that POTO is crappiest of the two.
Like Rent, POTO seems off from the get go. Without even going into the casting, the cinematography is just crap. I think they set a world record for number of crossfades in a feature length film, and they happen in the most awkward places. “Look, there’s Emmy Rossum in front of the mirror (crossfade happens)…oh there she is…still?? Nothing has happened?!??” Throw in a little fog juice and you’ve really got a party.
Two words: Minnie Driver. What is she doing in this movie??? 1. She can’t sing. 2. She can’t lip sync to someone else singing. I do kind of feel bad for her though. She’s like the modern day Audrey Hepburn circa My Fair Lady except without the class and fashion sense.
So Emmy Rossum plays Christine in this rendition. I don’t suppose it needs to be said that she is no Sarah Brightman. I know that the character is supposed to be like 18, but I really don’t need to hear an actual 18 year old screeching out those high notes. She looks hot enough in those skimpy outfits I guess, but like in Avatar looks should not be everything.
Honestly I don’t even feel like mentioning Raoul. He’s pretty transparent throughout the whole thing. That speaks to his voice and his acting. Every once and a while he’ll say something you actually notice…only because he says it so damn awkwardly. The dialogue between Raoul and Christine especially…is just brutal to listen to. It seriously makes me want to crawl under a rock.
I saved the best for last of course: Gerard Butler. What a Phantom…by which I mean terrible. I wasn’t aware that the POTO was supposed to be a sex symbol. He’s probably the worst singer of the bunch as well. They tried so desperately to cover it with reverb, with no avail. I think they wanted to hide it by shooting a lot of Christine and the Phantom grinding up against one another…which is in itself disturbing.
I don’t want to go into this much more in depth, but there is one particular scene that I just have to mention. In the underground lair Christine tries to remove the Phantom’s mask. I think it’s pretty common knowledge that he’s very badly scarred…which is why he wears the mask. She pulls it off of him and you see his whole face. He looks fine!!! They didn’t even bother to put makeup on him for the scene!! WTF? If he’s not scarred then why is he wearing the mask and living in the basement? Maybe he just can’t afford rent. It’s a metaphor for kids overstaying their welcome at home after college.
Honestly I’m sick of talking about this already. The casting doesn’t make any sense, the singing ranges from mediocre at best to just atrocious, the acting is flat, the love story is disturbing, and the visuals are extremely overdone and cheesy. Please don’t see this movie.
The minx says: This movie should go and hide in the basement of a Paris theater…far away from everyone for centuries to come.