8 Marvelous Modern Musicals ...


8 Marvelous Modern Musicals ...
8 Marvelous Modern Musicals ...

Modern Musicals are by turns funny, touching, dramatic, and decadent. While nothing can beat the classics, like The Sound of Music and Singing in the Rain, more recent musicals have the advantage of fantastic locations, stunning costumes, special effects, and modern songs, too. Believe you me, I'm not putting down the classics at all – I love those! But you have to give it up for newer musical movies, too. I've come up with a list of some of the best modern musicals in the last ten years or so. Take a look at the films I've come up with, and get ready to chime in with your own!

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I love modern musicals that focus on a past era, and Chicago takes place during one of my favorites: the crazy, decadent 1920s. The plot personifies that perfectly by featuring two fabulous, lethal ladies accused of murder. They're on a quest for fame, not just for fame's sake but so they can get off of death row – still alive.



RENT was a fantastic Broadway musical, and the movie went on to become one of the best recent musicals as well. There are so many profoundly touching aspects about the story, from the friendships to the romances to, perhaps most importantly, the way the characters deal with tragedies, like AIDS. This one is important to me for a variety of personal reasons, and both on Broadway and on the silver screen, it's absolutely iconic.



The film adaptation of Dreamgirls was really fantastic. One of the reasons it's one of the most popular modern musicals is due to the well rounded and talented cast. Beyonce was awesome, of course, as were Jamie Foxx and Eddie Murphy, but Jennifer Hudson, too, was a standout star in the drama about Motown and The Supremes. It's definitely dramatic, and although the main details – like the name of the group – are fictionalized, it really does give you some serious insight into the romances, betrayals, and talents involved in the Motown empire.


The Producers

The Producers is a favorite modern musical, both on screen and off. I'm highlighting the 2005 remake here, of course, but in addition to the Broadway show, it was also made into a movie in 1968. Both films are excellent, as almost anything written by Mel Brooks is bound to be, but I'm partial to this version because I adore both Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick. Will Ferrell has a particularly good turn in the film as well. One of the reasons this story is so popular is because of the madcap main idea: banking big on a total flop.


Across the Universe

Across the Universe makes it onto my particular list of modern musicals because I adore the Beatles. This movie is filled with absolutely stellar music, and I've always thought that the way the songs are worked into the story is ingenious. The characters, especially Lucy and Jude, largely get their names from Fab Four songs, and the plot, too, weaves beautifully with ballads from the band. The film also happens to be stunning, and those things together more than make up for anything the movie lacks.


Mamma Mia!

I confess, Mamma Mia! is one of my favorite recent musicals. I know the film had a lot of weak spots, and I don't know who thought it would be a good idea for Pierce Brosnan to sing, but that's cool. I'm a fan of the Broadway version as well, but the film adaptation just got to me, perhaps because I view Meryl Streep as a goddess on high and have an enormous fangirl crush on Amanda Seyfried. I think the fact that the actors are not by any means professional singers added a touching aspect to the movie – especially when Donna sings «Slipping through My Fingers.» Other favorite songs include the renditions of «Super Trouper,» «Our Last Summer» (especially the Colin Firth bits), «Dancing Queen,» and «Lay all Your Love on Me,» because Sophie and Sky made that steaming hot!



When I first saw that Hairspray was being remade into a modern musical movie, I was livid. I am one of John Waters' crazy followers, and I just could not believe this would be better than the original. In truth, it's not, because in many ways the two films are completely separate. I love the musical in its own right, all the way down to John Travolta. He could never, ever be Divine, of course, but he did a decent turn – and Christopher Walken just rocked my socks.


Moulin Rouge

No list of the best modern musicals would be complete without mentioning this movie. It had its problems, absolutely, but the music, the scenery, and the photography all combine so that the pros outweigh cons, at least in my opinion. I think this film is breathtakingly beautiful, and that's more than enough to make up for any weak spots.

In many ways, modern musicals reflect changes in pop culture, especially as it applies to music. You can see what's cool now, how tastes and trends are changing, and how both movies and musicals evolve over time. Nothing will ever beat the classics, but there are a lot of current musicals that promise to be classics in the future. What are some of your favorite recent musicals?

Top Image Source: weheartit.com

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