The Greatest Showman

B+

I had a free movie pass and was debating on whether to see The Greatest Showman or Downsizing. Downsizing has a fairly respectable 63 on Metacritic while Showman has a pretty bad rating of 48. On Rotten Tomatoes, it is 51 vs. 50. But while looking them up, I noticed that 56% of Google users had liked Downsizing while 94% had liked Showman. Maybe it is appropriate that a movie about P.T. Barnum is more popular with the masses than the critics. Obviously I chose The Greatest Showman and this is in spite of the previews which kind of had me cringing with Jackman's shout singing and what certainly seemed like a whitewashing of Barnum.

It starts a little rough and Jackman isn't exactly a strong singer. But happily, he doesn't do nearly all of the singing and there are better singers and songs in store. The music is by the team from La La Land, which wasn't one of my favorites last year, though not because of the music. Plotwise there isn't a whole lot new here and the movie is undoubtedly happier than the reality, but it is fun to watch, with a few different plotlines to keep it interesting. There is a lot of good dancing, at least one really good acrobatic music number, and a lot of positive messages. So it is no wonder that 94% of the people who chose a Hugh Jackman musical over the holiday liked what they got. And just like the critics to punish anything this nice.