Everybody's Talking About Jamie

Everybody's Talking About Jamie ★★★★½

Quick thoughts:

Everybody's Talking about Jamie is a biographical musical coming of age film, directed by Jonathan Butterell (in his feature film debut) from a screenplay written by Tom MacRae. The film is an adaptation of the UK stage musical of the same name by Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom MacRae, and stars Max Harwood as the titular Jamie New, who just turned 16 and doesn’t quite fit in—instead of pursuing a “real” career he dreams of becoming a drag queen. Uncertain about his future, Jamie knows one thing for sure: he is going to be a sensation. Supported by his loving mom and his amazing friends, Jamie overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies and steps out of the darkness, into the spotlight. I'll get my one real criticism out of the way first, which is that this film should have absolutely been given a wide theatrical release! I understand that the underperformance of In the Heights implies that success is not a guarantee, but still, the more good musicals that are playing in theaters, the longer we can keep riding this wave. That being said, this movie is fantastic. The fact that it's based on a true story does enhance the experience, making each musical number pop that much more, and the more dramatic moments hit that much harder. Max Harwood makes a truly stellar first impression, owning every scene he's in, and even holding his own against a legend like Richard E. Grant, who plays Jamie's mentor Hugo Battersby. Hugo was a former drag queen who went by the name Loco Chanelle, and is essentially the Yoda to Jamie's Luke Skywalker on his fabulous hero's journey. The rest of the cast is great as well, including Lauren Patel as Jamie's best friend Pritti Pasha, Sarah Lancashire as Jamie's mom Margaret, Samuel Bottomley as Dean Paxton, the school bully, and Sharon Horgan as Miss Hedge, their Year 11 teacher. If I had to pinpoint the main reason why I think everyone should see this movie, whether you're a part of the LGBTQ+ community or not, is because its main theme of embracing the real you is both relatable and universal. This is just Joseph Campbell's hero's journey, but with high heels as opposed to swords or lightsabers. I'll have more to say on the next Renegade Marquee podcast, but for now, Everybody's Talking About Jamie is available to stream on Amazon Prime.