At the Movies




“Dear Evan Hansen” was a big hit on Broadway, and the musical was scheduled to play at the Providence Performing Arts Center before the pandemic shut the lights off.

The movie version has made it to Rhode Island’s Warwick Showcase before the play comes to PPAC later in the season.

Ben Platt still plays the title character, a high school student with enough teenage angst to fill a textbook, even though he is now 27 years old.

The movie deals with teen suicide, anxiety, loneliness, truthfulness, friendship, and a variety of issues facing young people these days.

When things get tough, Evan breaks into song, dealing with a myriad of problems in his head.

Evan has a therapist and an over-protective mother (Julianne Moore), even though she is a single mom who works all the time, leaving Evan to fend for himself. He is encouraged to cope by writing letters to himself.

A major problem occurs when Connor (Colton Ryan), another troubled youth, steals one of his letters.

Connor commits suicide, and his parents find Evan’s letter in his pocket, thinking that their son has written it to him.

The situation gets very confusing, as the parents and his fellow students think that Ethan was Connor’s only friend. Ethan perpetuates the little white lie as it grows into a major lie.

The plot gets thicker as Ethan slowly gets closer to Connor’s sister, Zoe (Kaitlin Dever).

How it all turns out makes for a pretty intense, meaty plot line, interrupted frequently by some good songs that have become standards in the pop music field.

We understand that the movie occasionally strays from the stage version, as is frequently the case, but it still has some powerful messages.


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