Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Les Miserables Movie: The Dream May Live, But Is All Hope Lost?

(the soundtrack of my life, whether I like it or not)

I'm not sure how I feel about the Les Miserables movie coming out. On the one hand, judging by the first trailer alone, it looks kinda awesome. I like the cast. It looks beautilful. It's hard to mess up the songs. In theory, I should really enjoy it. I remind myself that I was also looking forward to Phantom of The Opera and Nine and both of those were disasters. Still, I have faith in this production. So on the one hand, hooray for a good movie adaptation! On the other hand, will there ever be a time in my life when I get these effing songs out of my head??

I don't know what it is about the Les Mis score. Is it the lush, romantic, classic melodies that pretty much anybody can sing if they want to, but that a really talented singer can just kill? Is the scope of the story and the rich characters? The show's been around for 25 years now, and lets say the songs have been locked in my brain for at least 20 of them. I sang Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, Stars, Bring Him Home and Drink with Me a lot in vocal lessons through college. Then other songs and shows knocked it out of rotation in my brain for a while, but then in my late 20's it all came surging back without my consent. I found myself singing through the score at the randomest of times. Like the WHOLE SCORE. I don't even have the full score on my iPod, I would just sing it to myself from memory. Then the need to sing it started dying down a bit again, but then that 25th Anniversary Concert came out on PBS and my brain was once again lost to me. I didn't become obsessed with watching the concert (though I did have it saved on my DVR for a long time) because Nick Jonas's limited vocal ability and horrible breath support really ruined Marius for me, but once again the soundtrack was on heavy rotation in my brain. I had almost -ALMOST - gotten over it again, and now come the movie trailer is here. The advertising for the movie means I'll be singing the songs to myself at least through the end of the year since it doesn't open until Christmas. And then what if it's actually really good and gets nominated for Oscars??? That will stretch things until March! And then if I like the move, what then? Will I breakdown and buy it on Blu-Ray? Will I watch it whenever I have to clean my living room, or go through my billing statements or fold my laundry - like I do with Kill Bill, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Chicago, LOTR and Aliens? The songs will never go away. The movie means I have no hope. Why even try to fight it? It's not worth it. Life has killed the dream I dreamed of not singing "I Dreamed a Dream" to myself forever and ever.

For the record, the song I sing to myself the most is the short but sweet "Every Day" between Marius and Cosette. It's like the show is speaking directly to me: With all the years ahead of us, I will never go away and we will be together everyday...

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