Emo the Musical

Welcome to our Oddballs and Weirdos month, in which we root for the underdog and fight for the freaks. Last time we did this, we called it Films About Fuck Ups and included the gem Welcome to Me, so who knows where we’ll end up this year? Hopefully uncovering some new heroes. As Jillian says though, most of our films could fall into this category anyway. We’re big fans of the weird and the wonderful round these parts.

Onward!

Ethan, a sullen high-school student whose life is defined by what he hates, finds love with a blindly optimistic Christian girl Trinity, much to the annoyance of his angst-filled band mates and her evangelistic brethren.

Benson Jack AnthonyJordan HareRahart Adams

High school sucks.

*Minor spoilers/TW: suicide attempts*

Ethan (Anthony) has been kicked out of school for trying to kill himself in the very public courtyard. Forced to downgrade from his posh private school to a new rundown one, Ethan makes it his business to get in with the Emo kids and into school band, Worst Day Ever. The only trouble is, he looks like a square so when he makes his intention to try out clear, the band mates scoff.

Led by dangerous (and sexy) Bradley (Adams), the band also consists of Roz (Lucy Barrett) and a blond kid who’s name I didn’t bother to learn (Jay. It’s Jay). After a successful audition, in which Ethan confides that he’s been expelled for trying to hang himself, he’s accepted into the fold – if only for his backstory. So begins his journey into full-on Emo-ness, all black eyeliner and over-sexed girlfriend (the predatory Roz).

On his first day, Ethan also meets Trinity (Hare), a Christian babe keen to convert him to Jesus’ way of thinking. Ethan’s not into it obviously but the pair form a bond anyway. Kicking it with Trinity – and forming rival band the Christian Hope Group are; Isaac (Jon Prasida), secretly pregnant Jamali (Geraldine Viswanathan) and closeted Peter (Craig Hyde-Smith), who’s (also secretly) madly in love with hot jock, Josh (Kevin Clayette).

Obviously, we need a bit of action round about now and it’s clear that there’s more between Trinity and Ethan than is socially acceptable. When they’re paired together by the school’s only teacher, Mrs Doyle (Bridie Carter) on a project to write a love song, things start to hot up. Ethan is able to open up to his new friend, despite all their differences. Could they be Romeo et Juliette for the modern day?

As they get more involved, it becomes harder for Ethan to keep up the Emo lifestyle. He’s maybe not the apathetic misery guts he’s made himself out to be. In turn, Trinity starts to question her attitude towards her sexuality and where it fits in with her faith. But how will Worst Day Ever take the news of the two of them together? Well, since Bradley’s most hated thing is other people pushing their agendas and optimism, I’m guessing not well.

Roz meanwhile has a filthy secret of her own, while the father of Jamali’s unborn baby is rumoured to be a very preachy member of the Christan Hope Group. Interesting. When a fire starts in the school, the rivalry between factions heats up quite literally and the bands battle to the death. Will our lovers learn valuable lessons along the way? Well, what the hump do you think?

And, incidentally, will Bradley’s Emo idol, Doug Skeleton (Dylan Lewis) live up to his lofty expectations? Well, they do say never meet your heroes…

This isn’t the worst film in the whole world but I really wish it was better. It is a musical and a couple of the lyrics raised a smile but can you imagine this done by the brains behind Crazy Ex-Girlfriend? The songs would have been 7000 times cleverer. As it is the best song is Trinity’s ‘Would Jesus’:

Do you think Jesus smiled all the time?
I don’t think so, I don’t think so
You think he locked himself in his room and cried
I think so, yes, I think so
Do you think there might have been a chance
he liked my Chemical Romance?
Yes, I think so
Could Jesus have been an emo?

His blood it fell in crimson shades
His crucifix a razor blade
Was Jesus an emo?
He felt the pain of all mankind
but emos do that all the time
Was Jesus an emo?

Which totally would have been better had it been a duet between the two lovebirds. But what do I know? It means well, it’s sweet enough but it’s not as smart as it could be, which is a shame.

Film details:

Emo the Musical
Year: 2016
Director: Neil Triffett
IMDB Rating: 6.2/10
My Rating: 3/5

What does my Emo princess think of this one? Would she lend it her favourite black kohl or cover it in honey and throw it to the Christians? Find out here.

Yesterday

A struggling musician realises he’s the only person on Earth who can remember The Beatles after waking up in an alternate timeline where they never existed.

Himesh PatelLily JamesSophia Di Martino

Everyone in the World Has Forgotten the Beatles. Everyone Except Jack…

*Minor spoilers*

Jack (Patel) is an aspiring musician who isn’t setting the world alight. In fact, the only person who really seems to believe in him is BFF Ellie (James), who also happens to be his manager. After a disappointing gig at Latitude festival, Jack decides to call in quits and go back to teaching. Ellie has strong views about this but his mind is set.

On the way home that night there’s a mysterious global black out and all electricity goes off for 12 seconds across the world. During this tiny window of time, Jack is knocked off his bike by a bus. Smashed up but otherwise okay, Jack slowly heals and things go back to normal, but for one thing: nobody but Jack seems to remember The Beatles.

WHUT.

A frantic Google session reveals that there is no record of John, Paul, George or Ringo – and the only beetle of any note is the multi-legged kind. This means that the entire Beatles back catalog is available for plagiarism, if only Jack can remember the words. When he starts pulling it all together, his career (gradually) starts to take off. He becomes locally famous at least.

Despite this gift of true art at his fingertips, Jack laments that it must be him, destined only for mediocrity. Until he gets a call from the Ed Sheeran (as himself) and in turn, meets Ed’s manager, Debra Hammer (Kate McKinnon). Debra whisks Jack to LA to work on his image and an incredible double album primed to change the face of music forever.

But none of this sits right with Jack and his guilt begins to weigh on him. Meanwhile Ellie, now stood down as his manager, reveals her true feelings. Is Jack capable of giving her what she needs? And, when two oddballs come out of the woodwork as the only other people who remember the band, will Jack’s deep secret be revealed for him?

Well, there are some lovely touches here and it is a feel-good movie, as you’d expect from its screenwriter, Rom Com godfather Richard Curtis. None of the story line is explained which I really like. Along with The Beatles, there are lots of iconic popular culture references that no longer exist, including Coca Cola which is crazy to even comprehend.

I enjoyed Yesterday a lot but I fear it might disappear quickly from my memory. While Danny Boyle has done a fine job with it – particularly some of the grander scale scenes, specifically the roof top gig – I don’t think it’s as iconic as Love Actually, Bridget Jones’s Diary or Notting Hill (all penned by Mr Curtis).

Regardless, I enjoyed the character of Jack. He’s not awful to look at all – and Lily James is always quality, even though she’s quite underwritten as Ellie. I would have liked more for her character. But all in all, colour me happy with this higher-end Rom Com, which I watched on my own straight from work on Friday night. The perfect solo date.

Film details:

Yesterday
Year: 2019
Director: Danny Boyle
IMDB Rating: 7/10
My Rating: 3.5/5

What are you watching?