Normally, when these lists pop up on people’s newsfeeds from Buzzfeed or Cracked or wherever, you get the usual suspects populating the article; The Sound of Music, where Julie Andrews kills a load of Nazis or something; Rent, where a load of LGBT New Yorkers struggle to pay rent in a fancy loft in Manhattan the spoiled bastards; and Moulin Rouge, the tale of a prostitute telling lies (shock horror). Not that I’d have any experience with prossies. I’ll get you one day, Tina!
I’m here to give you the real lowdown. In no particular order, feast your sockets on the real list of the five greatest musicals of all time. Don’t @ me because I know you’ll agree.
The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride (1998)
This masterpiece of a film was released four years after the original. It was the best sequel since the Godfather II and was only matched by The Dark Knight. Don’t even try to fight me on this, but I prefer this installment over the first Lion King. It’s not even classed as a musical but with songs like We Are One, Upendi and He Lives In You, it’s just one banger after another. However, the one song that propels this into the definitive list of the best musicals of all time is One of Us. Taking place when Kovu, the son of Scar from the first film, is exiled after he is mistakenly believed to be part of an ambush on Simba, this song has stuck with me through a lot of my life, even getting playtime in bars around Manhattan. Hear for yourself.
Mamma Mia (2008)
A musical based on Abba’s songs, they said. What a crazy idea, they said. I don’t know who said this, and I have no credible evidence to prove anybody did, but if they did then they are probably dead now. That’s how stupid you would have to be to not realise that a musical based on Abba’s music is a simply wonderful idea. Those people died. Think about that. Tragic.
The cast is star studded, with Amanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard and Julie Walters (Molly Weasley) in main roles. The singing can be patchy at times but the film is fun, weird and great for a hangover. Meaning it is one of the greatest musicals of all time.
But be warned, Amanda Seyfried is the most annoying character in this movie, especially if you take my advice and watch this movie with a hangover. I’ve never wanted to fight a woman, but Seyfried came close.
Mamma Mia 3: The Fast and the Fabulous
After the success of the second movie a third installment was announced straight away. Small details of the plot have been released, setting the movie in a dystopian future where Amanda Seyfried’s character has assumed the title of Mamma Mia, the demigod ruler of a world where men are low in number and being hunted. I’m not sure what Abba songs they’re going to use for this one but I’m sure it will be a hit and so goes into my list.
La La Land (2016)
No jokes. Loved this one. Went on my own to the cinema where I worked and the place was fairly full of auld wans and young couples. I don’t need anyone as long as I have my large combo and maltesers on the side.
After the finale dream scene in which Emma Stone pictures her life with Gosling’s character while happily sitting next to her actual husband, some old lady started clapping. It is a very bittersweet, emotional scene but this was in Ireland, where we bottle our emotions. Leave the clapping after a movie and when a plane lands to the Americans. Now, as I want everyone to know, I’ve never fought a woman, but that old lady came very close.
Irish movies always have the best soundtracks, or even the best placement of music throughout its movies. Once has been a hit on Broadway, the West End, Dublin and even in South Korea of all places. I only saw it a few years ago by chance when it was in the sale bin in Golden Discs. Ah, Golden Discs. Simpler times.
It is a touching movie that pulls at the hearstrings as Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova sing and act beautifully together. Any Americans or Irish that haven’t seen this, definitely give it a look. And for the Colombian and Malaysian people who have viewed this blog, give it a look. I miss you guys.