You Will be Found Wanting More

Dear Evan Hansen movie doesn’t live up to the musical’s legacy.

Zoe Rasmussen

More stories from Zoe Rasmussen


The Dear Evan Hansen movie fell flat.

Dear Ben Platt: you are too old to be a highschooler. Recently, the musical Dear Evan Hansen came to Omaha. In addition, the movie Dear Evan Hansen came out not too long ago as it aired in theatres on September 24, 2021. While both are based on the same story, there are many differences between the two. 

Dear Evan Hansen centers around a young high school student from Bethesda, Maryland who struggles with anxiety and self-acceptance. 

Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway was the performance that jump-started Ben Platt’s career, with his role as the main character, Evan Hansen. Years later, he reprised his role in the movie adaptation. While Platt is a very talented singer, he sticks out like a sore thumb in the movie. As a 28-year-old man playing a high schooler, it’s very jarring, to say the least. There are dozens of talented actors that would be more age-appropriate for this role. However, there were other actors who I thought embodied their roles very well. Kaitlyn Dever, who played Zoe Murphy, did an especially fantastic job.

There are quite a few differences between the musical and the movie. One of the main differences is the music. The movie removed four songs from the original soundtrack of the musical and added two original songs. The new songs work to give more depth to characters that didn’t have a lot of that in the musical. While they succeed in giving depth to some characters, the removal of the other songs almost completely removes other characters’ roles from the movie. There were some differences that I felt made the movie slightly better. In the musical, Evan Hansen makes some questionable decisions and doesn’t seem to receive many consequences. That was one of the main criticisms of the original show. The movie works to fix these criticisms by including actual consequences for Hansen’s actions.

Both the musical and the movie have the same lessons to learn from them. First, you can never truly know what someone is going through. Most of the characters struggle with their own personal issues, whether it’s physical or mental. The simpler moral to pick up is that lying doesn’t help anyone. Hansen lied a lot during the story to try and make things better, but he just ended up hurting himself and the people around him.

I would recommend Dear Evan Hansen the musical to everyone, except if you don’t enjoy musicals. It told a moving and emotional story with a cast of complex characters. On the other hand, I wouldn’t recommend the movie to anyone. It was overall kind of boring compared to both the original musical and other musicals made into movies. The movie is rated PG-13 for mentions of suicide, strong language, and suggestive material.

I would rate this 2.25/5.

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