This week Tag Team Movie Reviewers Nicholas Angelo and Amy Baker give you the scoop on the next movie in the LIFE UMC “At the Movies” series. You can watch “The Greatest Showman,” rated PG, starring Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Zendaya and Michelle Williams at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, at the church. Admission is free and open to the public. There will be popcorn!
AMY: Come one, come all! Welcome to this Big Top edition of LIFE UMC “At the Movies”! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll eat popcorn! You might even sing. Nicholas, do you like musicals?
NICHOLAS: I’ve only really seen three: “High School Musical,” “Beauty and the Beast” and now “The Greatest Showman.” I can honestly say it’s the best musical I’ve ever seen! I really liked the soundtrack.
AMY: Inspired by the real-life showman P.T. Barnum, this original musical tells the story of a dreamer who creates a new genre of entertainment, the circus, with the help of some unique people who had been excluded from society. Throughout the movie, Hugh Jackman as Barnum struggles with the balance of fulfilling his vision and remembering what matters most – his true friends; his wife Charity, played by Michelle Williams; and their children.
NICHOLAS: I enjoyed the history part of the story. There was a lot of stuff in there from the 1800s time period. I recognized Zendaya from “Spiderman” and Zac Efron from “High School Musical.”
AMY: Efron plays Phillip, Barnum’s partner/apprentice who falls in love with a trapeze artist named Anne, played by Zendaya. Nicholas, last time you said you weren’t a fan of movie romance. What did you think about that in this movie?
NICHOLAS: For this movie, the love stuff didn’t bother me. It made sense as part of Barnum’s life story and what he was going through.
AMY: I know what you mean. Barnum, who grew up as the poor son of a tailor, gets so focused on rising in society that he makes some questionable choices and forgets about those who helped him get to where he was.
NICHOLAS: And those were the people he helped step from out of the shadows into the light, like the “Bearded Lady,” “Dog Boy,” “Irish Giant” and “Tom Thumb.” My favorite song was “This Is Me,” that they sang in protest because they weren’t invited to a fancy party. Society viewed them as sideshow oddities, but Barnum saw them as unique and talented – and then turned his back on them.
AMY: Enter singer Jenny Lind, a performer even the elite society would come out to see. Barnum risks it all – his fortune and his family – to try to live his dream of being accepted. Then disaster strikes.
NICHOLAS: It takes losing everything to bring Barnum back to his real purpose and remember what is most important. He loses his building but comes up with the creative circus tent idea. And – Spoiler Alert – Barnum ends up stepping back and letting his apprentice take over so he can spend more time with his family.
AMY: Barnum spends the whole movie trying to create a better life for his wife, the life they dreamed of as children. A better life for Charity, though, isn’t really money and fame.
NICHOLAS: If you want to make somebody happy, it’s really in the little things. You don’t have to ride in on an elephant to show you care.
AMY: Great insights, Nicholas! Next week we’ll be talking about “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” which will be shown at the church at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16.