I emailed Sarah to remind me why I'm not supposed to be excited for The Greatest Showman because as of this morning, when two songs from the film’s soundtrack were released, I was really excited. It's a musical. I love musicals. It's Zendaya in a musical. I love Zendaya. My favourite Zac Efron is pre-douche-singing-and-dancing Zefron. Hugh Jackman is Hugh Jackman. What’s not to like?
Here’s what Sarah wrote:
Because PT Barnum was a con man and an exploitative f-ckhead who turned gawking at the different into a sport. Also, he cheated people out their money, so even the "stars" of his show could never afford to leave him. All this, I have to do it for my family bullsh-t. Please. He did it because he realized rich people would pay to gawk at his "oddities".
He also kept a slave, an old woman he passed off as George Washington's nurse. He was gross.
And that’s how you crush a musical nerd's dreams in a paragraph. Thanks Sarah. So, The Greatest Showman is problematic. That's particularly unfortunate because it's getting a Christmas release so they're hoping for the classic big holiday box office push. Zac Efron and Zendaya play love interests. Remember the delight that was the Spider-Man: Homecoming press tour? Zac Efron is no Tom Holland (I'm still holding out hope for Zendalland) but I can just picture the late night show appearances and the epic lip sync battles that could come from a Zendaya and Zac pairing.
We've written about Zendaya a lot this year. She is having one of those years that will be the turning point chapter in her autobiography. She's emerged as a fashion powerhouse. She landed her first Vogue cover. She's been my light in the darkness of 2017. If anyone can save a movie plagued with shady historical inaccuracies, it's Zendaya. If this movie bombs, it won't be on her but if it does well, it will add to Zendaya's current Midas touch.
The new Greatest Showman songs are big, over-the-top classic musical numbers. If you hate musicals, you're going to roll your eyes at The Greatest Showman, which is pure showtunes meets Fall Out Boy. Seriously. But around the 3:30 mark, Zendaya and Zac Efron take over and I may or may not have squealed out loud.
I want to watch an entire movie of Zendaya swagging around on a trapeze singing love songs with Zac Efron. Why can't we have this?