Saturday, December 19, 2009


I like musicals. Not all musicals, but, in general, I like musicals. I'm currently listening to the soundtrack of Rent. It's fantastic.

But I can't watch movie musicals without a little nagging voice in the back of my head: "How does this make sense? How do these people accept all the singing? Why does no one think this is insane?"

For some reason, I don't have the same hangups when it comes to stage musicals. I guess there, I'm able to accept that not everything makes total sense, because stage shows never just look like someone's real life. And, movies are supposed to look like something is happening, and a camera just happens to be there. Well, that's not the intention with every movie, but, a lot of them. Really arty films don't have this, but even fantasy movies, for example, are supposed to just be something that's happening in that fantasy universe, captured onscreen. I mean, not really, but that's how it's supposed to seem. People act natural, it's supposed to seem real these days, as opposed to overacted silent films, for example. But when it comes to stage shows, what's going on onstage is obviously not just something happening in the world. It's on a stage in front of you, and therefore obviously a show, so the rules are different.

But movie musicals, well, you watch them all sing about something, and then someone brings it up later as if it was just a conversation they all had...."Remember that day when...." and the "when" is just something that they sang about.

It makes no sense, and while I can usually put my hangups aside and enjoy movie musicals (I do love Rent), I always have that nagging little voice in the back of my head....

My favorite example of an onscreen musical (as opposed to onstage) is "Once More, With Feeling," the Buffy The Vampire Slayer musical episode. Why? Because the whole musical thing is explained in a way that makes perfect sense within the rules and logic of that universe (I mean, obviously there are not demons in our universe, but given that these supernatural phenomena exist in the Buffy universe, the premise of this episode makes perfect sense). It's explained, and silences the voice in the back of my head!

Am I the only one who has this problem with musicals?

1 comment:

  1. No, I have the same issue. It does seem so strange to randomly break into song, and I'm always like Why does no one remark on the strangeness of this?! And it is easier for me to accept onstage musicals than onscreen musical as well.