Everyone’s Talking About Jamie Movie Reviews


The stage-to-screen adaptation of “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” still keeps much of its theatrical style intact but doesn’t make the core story any less impactful. It’s a familiar adult story along the lines of “Billy Elliot” or even the Harry Potter series. A boy, in this story named Jamie (Max Harwood), imagines life outside the sluggishness of his working-class English town. His mother Margaret (Sarah Lancashire) tries her best to support him even when his classmates mock him for being gay, a stern-faced teacher disapproves of his behavior, and his father (Ralph Ineson) flatly rejects him. Instead of hiding herself and her friendly personality, Jamie decides to pursue her dream of becoming a drag queen with a little help from her friends – Jamie’s best friend and doctor-to-be, Pritti (Lauren Patel), and a new drag mentor named Hugo (Richard E. Grant), former Loco Chanel.

As far as coming-of-age musicals go, “Everyone’s Talking About Jamie” sends a message of self-acceptance that is endearing and fun. True to her 16-year-old self, Jamie has some things to do, and not just as an aspiring drag queen. He had to learn more than just how to walk in heels—a pair of rubies—but also how to form a persona on stage and know when to let Jamie fight Jamie or let Jamie forgive those who wronged him. From the start, Harwood’s performance as Jamie was as sparkly as the shimmering tiara and shirt her character wore. He commits to the highs and lows of Jamie’s story with wide-eyed enthusiasm that fits the character perfectly, throwing his long limbs into dream sequences like a dance routine that showcases Jamie’s confidence and excitement, but also a sense of vulnerability and shyness. . As Jamie’s best friend,

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Director Jonathan Butterell uses the dream sequence to tell more about Jamie’s story as well as Jamie’s fantastic imagination. For example, when a teacher chastises her for asking Pritti to fix her poorly drawn eyebrows, Jamie sings an art-themed rebellion song that expresses her frustration, but also considers herself a “work of art.” Welcoming her at the beginning of the song is none other than the transgender legend herself, Bianca Del Rio, one of Jamie’s heroines. He also refers to the mainstreaming of drag culture and the enduring influence of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Tom MacRae, who adapted his stage plays and musicals with Butterell and Dan Gillespie Sells, guides Jamie through his journey of self-discovery, but appears to be hampered by the inclusion of so many Sells and Anne Dudley songs into film screening time. Some numbers, such as the ballad by Jamie’s mother Margaret, slowed the film’s momentum while other songs played in succession, with little time in between to reset the tune.

But one new addition to the film may be its highlights. With “This Was Me”, drag shop owner Hugo shows Jamie not only his incredible past as Loco Chanel, but also what his gay community went through during the AIDS crisis, Freddie Mercury’s death, street protests, police arresting queer club goers and moments radical when Princess Diana talked to AIDS patients. All of this through the lens of the camera held by Hugo’s lover, which we see doesn’t last. In one emotional song, using historical moments and recreated archival footage, Hugo shares just a small part of the history behind drag culture in Britain, something Jamie and other young queers in his generation may not have fully understood or taken into account in an era where drag queens has a global following, discrimination laws protect the queer community from being targeted and medicine has advanced to help manage HIV/AIDS. Grant, a charming addition to an already captivating film, transforms his appearance from an irritated gay elder to a teary-eyed storyteller still feeling that loss from decades ago. It’s moments of honesty and vulnerability, like Jamie’s dread before taking the stage for the first time as a drag queen, that make “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” a heartwarming musical with performances that really make it shine.

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