The life-affirming musical, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, breathes new life into the musical movie genre in bright, beautiful, and prideful ways.
Based on the West End musical, and inspired by a true story, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is a coming-of-age story about a 16-year-old high school student, Jamie New, who dreams of getting out of his small-minded town and becoming a well-known drag queen. With the help of his supportive mother, close friends, and mentor, Jamie learns what it means to be your authentic self.
The film stars newcomer Max Harwood who portrays the titular Jamie with all the flair, flamboyancy, and depth needed to fill the shoes of Jamie Campbell, the real-life inspiration of the film. Richard E. Grant’s fabulous portrayal of an aging drag queen who mentors Jamie is also a standout. Grant also performs a beautiful song that not only provides historical context but also pays tribute to LGBTQ activists and those who died during the AIDS epidemic.
Fans of the stage musical and concept album (like me) will delight at the way director Jonathan Butterell expertly reimagines the show for the screen. Butterell grounds the film with beautifully colorful production elements, interesting aspect ratios, and musical sequences. Musical theatre tropes muddle the film, but the talented cast brings it together and creates something truly special by the end.
While on the surface this film seems predictable and cheesy, its depth is actually surprising. But it is Jamie’s message of self-love, hope, and pride that is what everybody who has ever felt “othered” will be talking about.
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.