Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is the latest musical offering in 2021, grabbed by Amazon Prime and released direct to the streaming platform bypassing cinemas entirely (Other than a appearance at the Edinburgh Film Festival earlier this year), now tries to entrance you all with charms after a rather successful stint in the theatre.
Inspired by true events, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie follows Jamie New (Max Harwood), a teenager from Sheffield, who dreams of life on stage. While his classmates plan their livelihoods after they leave school, Jamie contemplates revealing his secret career ambition to become a fierce and proud drag queen. His best friend Pritti (Lauren Patel) and his loving mum (Sarah Lancashire) shower him with endless support, while local drag legend Miss Loco Chanelle (Richard E. Grant) mentors him toward his debut stage performance. But Jamie also has to contend with an unsupportive father (Ralph Ineson), an uninspired careers advisor (Sharon Horgan), and some ignorant school kids who attempt to rain on his sensational parade. In rousing and colorful musical numbers, Jamie and his community inspire one another to overcome prejudice, be more accepting, and to step out of the darkness into the spotlight.
The stage production of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie had oodles of sass, pomp, colour and genuine all encompassing enjoyment for everyone. The film version has none of this. From a successful stage production to a flat and rather dull at times movie, ETAJ comes across like a extended version of The Dumping Ground or for those reading this who are a little older a musical episode of Grange Hill.
It tries it’s hardest and the actors are all going for it, however the screen seems to suck the life out of it, leaving you with a rather bland experience. If it wasn’t for Richard E. Grant’s star turn, this would have been a total waste of time. The musical numbers which on stage ‘pop’ and hit all the right notes for the audience, are somewhat overproduced and mimed to a point where you think you are watching a foreign language dub.
The director (Jonathan Butterell) knows what he wants to achieve, but in every scene it’ seems like the editing has been forgotten, as the film, simply drags (No pun intended) for what seems like forever. A two hour run time that feels much, much longer than that.
It’s a real shame as Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, but for all the wrong reasons. A real missed opportunity.
Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video Now