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13: the musical

Movie Reviews

’13: The Musical’ review: Poorly written musical is often times laughable

A waste of your time.

My oh my! Get me a grater for all this cheese! I was expecting family friendly, but I was not expecting this level of cringe to be present. 13: The Musical is one of those family films that’s so sanitized and cheesy that it’s simply impossible for it to reach any real level of authenticity. There’s a way to create a family-oriented musical that both the young and old can enjoy. You can also make it smart and creative. It’s unfortunate that this film isn’t interested in any of that. There are a few cast members that try but they just don’t have anything of merit on the page to work with.

'13: The Musical' review: Poorly written musical is often times laughable

Rhea Pearlman, Debra Messing, and Eli Golden are the only cast members in 13: The Musical that manage most times to create a little bit of something out of nothing. Pearlman is just too good of an actress to waste her screen time and the best moments in the film are centered around her. She is at least able to make her character seem real.

Messing is an actress I’ve loved in Will & Grace, and she always brings a level of likability. Even though her role in 13: The Musical isn’t written particularly well, she still manages to have some nice moments. Eli Golden, who’s the film’s star, does have some growing to do in his acting skills, but he makes for an overall sweet and relatable young lead.

The only other aspect of this whole thing I enjoyed was one short scene between Golden and Messing where they share a song together. I wish the list of upsides was longer because I really like musicals and this kind of a film can be loads of fun, but this script is just a dumpster fire full of awkward false moments. This reminded of a bad Disney Channel movie if I’m being honest.

'13: The Musical' review: Poorly written musical is often times laughable

There were more than ten occasions where I just couldn’t help but crack up laughing at what was unfolding before me, and I definitely wasn’t supposed to be. The vast majority of the dialogue is just dumb and way too cheesy to even have a hope of being taken seriously. I realize this is a film that revolves around the personal lives of pre-teens, but that’s no excuse for lazy bland writing.

Another consequence of this generic writing is that it makes the film flat out boring. Throughout the bulk of this film there is very little that makes an effort to grab and hold your attention. Dialogue and story aside, even the majority of the songs are completely forgettable. There was really only one that I sort of liked and that’s the mother son song between Messing and Golden.

The soundtrack in this film makes the High School Musical songs seem Oscar worthy. Not only are they not catchy or fun to listen to, but the lyrics are just laughable. Nearly every moment where they try to get serious and “touching” just ends up coming off as forced. The emotion is unearned.

'13: The Musical' review: Poorly written musical is often times laughable

There are a couple brief moments at the end that are somewhat sweet but that’s about it. All the teen drama they force us to watch is so sterile and lame. I have honestly seen Hallmark Channel films with deeper plot lines than this. You have to have something to connect to and this film doesn’t seem to know how to provide the audience with that.

I can’t imagine too much thought went into the writing process. The whole time I just kept wishing this was a film focused on Rhea Pearlman and Debra Messing’s characters. I want to see a dramedy focused on that mother and daughter. Let’s ditch all the sanitized lame pre-teen crap and just make a worthwhile film about these two women!

13: The Musical is a waste of your time. The writing is on par with the lesser of the Disney Channel films. Rhea Pearlman and Debra Messing deserve better!

13: the musical
’13: The Musical’ review: Poorly written musical is often times laughable
13: The Musical
13: The Musical is a poorly written musical that is often times cringeworthy and boring.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Rhea Pearlman, Debra Messing
One song between Golden and Messing
Poorly written dialogue
Boring generic plot
Forgettable songs
3.5
Meh

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