March 2013: I am in the interview to get into my program. My program director asks me what kind of movies I want to write.
Me: Musicals about serious subjects.
PD: Oh, like the Muse musical you sent us. That was very good.
Me: Yeah, I wrote that in my screenwriting course in my undergrad.
PD: Have you heard of the band The Proclaimers? We’ve just been working with the production company that’s releasing a musical with their music this year. Maybe we could get that producer to be your mentor.
*Insert my breaking heart. I had already been outlining a musical for The Proclaimers.
Well, tonight I saw it. Sunshine on Leith.
I saw it not just because I love The Proclaimers. Not just because I could very well be working with someone who made the film. But because I need a good example of a musical made from the songs from just one band. Not a trippy, aimless journey like Across the Universe. Not cheesy and devoid of story like Mamma Mia. But an upbeat, entertaining, heart-warming, makes-you-feel-good-about-life musical.
There were a few times in the movie where the pacing was a bit slow, but I think that is hard to avoid in a musical where they are singing about some point for quite some time. But there were more moments when I was on the edge of my seat because I knew something horrid/surprising had to happen in the next few minutes or the narrative would die, and the movie delivered not only once, but two or three times with every twist that needed to happen. It was very simple but excellently executed. And I enjoyed every second of it.
- It was set in Edinburgh, and there is something extremely satisfying about watching a movie when you are familiar with the setting. There were scenes on streets I walk down almost every day.
- The singing was beautiful. Particularly the character Yvonne, who reminded me of a British Mimi from Rent, and Davy, who reminded me so much of Cory Monteith that it made my heart hurt.
- The Proclaimers’ music is so clever and upbeat, you can’t help but be filled with joy when you listen to it. And the dance number that broke out in “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” was utterly fantastic.
- There were six primary characters, each with their spotlight in the progression of the story. Maybe I have a weakness for this approach, because it was very similar to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel that I wrote about the other day. They developed each character enough that you adored all of them, and were seriously invested in all of their stories.
I really just feel bad for everyone who will not be able to see this film because it most likely will not be released outside of the UK (although if you ever see it pass by on Netflix, watch it!!). Can I gush any more about how incredible, endearing, wonderful, and delightful I found it? Yes. Yes, I can.
This next bit will contain a lot of fangirling over beautiful actors. If you don’t want to read about that, consider the blog post to end here.
He played the character Davy. The character that caused me to pinch myself so the pain would force me to start breathing again. And bite my lip so that no audible evidence of the distressful pleasure I took in his Scottish accent (he’s actually English, but I never would’ve guessed) and his crystal clear singing voice would escape. And clench the armrests so that I wouldn’t slip to the floor as I passed out (if you think I’m exaggerating, just ask anyone that went to see the One Direction movie with me. I have a very serious problem). In case that isn’t enough to convince you of his outrageous beauty, take a look at this:
THAT GINGER HAIR. Tousled, just the way I like it. My blood pressure rises measurably just by looking at this picture. But let me illustrate further:
LIPS. The Scottish accent requires a certain degree of lip puckering at all times (this is one reason, I’m certain, why all women unconsciously want a Scottish man). That, combined with the singing, was a recipe for me to completely lose my mind.
And in case no one else made this connection:
Yes, they are younger here, but there were several times in the movie when it was Rupert’s face and not George’s that I was seeing on the screen. He even said “bloody hell.” Let’s not get carried away; NO ONE is as gorgeous as Rupert (whose lips are utterly PERFECT in my opinion). But George can sing and dance.
Interestingly, he also played Curly in the 2003 Peter Pan, which is my favorite version.
Just no one noticed his adorableness next to Jeremy Sumpter’s smouldering fourteen-year-old deliciousness.
But he is being noticed now. He’s been in quite a bit of British cinema, and now that I know how he can sing, I fully intend to get him cast in my musicals with serious themes. 🙂