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Ben Platt Has Some Tips for the ‘Randos Being Jerks’ Over His Age in Dear Evan Hansen

Early reviews for the Broadway adaptation Dear Evan Hansen arrive, and while critics praise Ben Platt and his co-stars, they slam the rest.

The early reviews for the Ben Platt musical Dear Evan Hansen are in following its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, and while the cast is generally being praised, reviewers are critiquing the film for sloppy, distracting direction. The film is an adaptation of the hit Broadway musical by The Greatest Showman songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, which was nominated for 9 Tony Awards in 2017 and won 6. Dear Evan Hansen is coming to theaters on September 24.

Dear Evan Hansen follows Ben Platt reprising his Broadway role as the title character, a high school student who ends up in hot water. After his classmate Connor dies by suicide, through a series of misunderstandings Evan creates a false story about being friends with him, becoming increasingly entangled with Connor’s family in the process. The film also stars Julianne Moore, Kaitlyn Dever, Amy Adams, Danny Pino, Colton Ryan, Amandla Stenberg, and Nik Dodani.

The film has already been subject to some negative audience criticism following the release of the trailer, with people especially mocking Ben Platt's age relative to the other characters. However, the time has come for the first word from critics who have been able to see the full movie. They generally confirm the public impression about Platt's age and some of the more tangled webs of the plot, but they also find issues with the direction by The Perks of Being a Wallflower's Stephen Chbosky. Here are some selected quotes from critics:

Valerie Complex, Deadline

Peter Debruge, Variety

Ian Freer, Empire Magazine

Tina Hassannia, IndieWire

Joey Magidson, Awards Radar

Steve Pond, The Wrap

Michael Rechtshaffen, The Hollywood Reporter

Although the reviews trend negative, critics have found a lot to praise about this adaptation of Dear Evan Hansen as well. Although Platt's age reads poorly when translated from stage to screen, his vocal performance doesn't suffer a bit. Critics have likewise praised the rest of the cast for giving it their all. The critics also seem entirely split on the source material, with some blaming the film for diluting the stage show's charms and others taking issue with the show itself, saying it couldn't possibly have been salvaged in the first place.

It looks like audiences who have seen Dear Evan Hansen onstage will have their opinion reinforced one way or the other. However, for those who haven't had the opportunity to catch it on Broadway, it looks like the film at least accurately preserves its divisive mixture of good qualities and flaws (though evidently, Chbosky adds a few flaws of his own). For those who just want to see Ben Platt preserve his iconic performance on the silver screen, the film at least looks to deliver on that level, so keep an eye on that calendar.

Ben Platt. Winner of the Tony Award. Perfectionist of the art to snot-crying on stage. Songwriter of catchy Yom Kippur jingles. Acapella magician on film. Political mover and shaker on television. So old that one Twitter user said he looked like he's the principal in the new Dear Evan Hansen trailer.

Yes, Ben Platt, now twenty-seven, will be reprising his role of Evan Hansen in the film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical. Stephen Chbosky will direct the film, and whose star-studded cast includes Julianne Moore, Amy Adams, and Kaitlyn Dever. However, while some might welcome Platt's return, others are unhappy about how he is way older than his character.

Following the Dear Evan Hansen trailer launching, Platt went on Twitter and wrote out a since-deleted tweet in which he first thanked people for the outpouring of love that the trailer received. Then, writing that the film required him to revisit some personal pain, seeing people excited and moved made it all worth it. He also directed anyone upset over his age to watch Grease.

Indeed, the 1978 cult classic Grease is one of the most egregious cases of high schoolers well beyond high school age. For a frame of reference, John Travolta was twenty-three, and Olivia Newton-John turned twenty-nine during filming. So why does this continue to be a practice, even though it's often painfully obvious that it's not a teenager onscreen?

One of the reasons could be that certain films' subject matter would be a little gross if it involved actual teenagers. For instance, can you imagine Wild Things where Denise Richards and Neve Campbell were their characters' age? Another reason is that it gets determined that the most important thing is talent over how old they are, which Chbosky said about Platt.

Ben Platt. Winner of the Tony Award. Perfectionist of the art to snot-crying on stage. Songwriter of catchy Yom Kippur jingles. Acapella magician on film. Political mover and shaker on television. So old that one Twitter user said he looked like he's the principal in the new Dear Evan Hansen trailer.

Yes, Ben Platt, now twenty-seven, will be reprising his role of Evan Hansen in the film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical. Stephen Chbosky will direct the film, and whose star-studded cast includes Julianne Moore, Amy Adams, and Kaitlyn Dever. However, while some might welcome Platt's return, others are unhappy about how he is way older than his character.

Following the Dear Evan Hansen trailer launching, Platt went on Twitter and wrote out a since-deleted tweet in which he first thanked people for the outpouring of love that the trailer received. Then, writing that the film required him to revisit some personal pain, seeing people excited and moved made it all worth it. He also directed anyone upset over his age to watch Grease.

Ben Platt Grease Tweet
Indeed, the 1978 cult classic Grease is one of the most egregious cases of high schoolers well beyond high school age. For a frame of reference, John Travolta was twenty-three, and Olivia Newton-John turned twenty-nine during filming. So why does this continue to be a practice, even though it's often painfully obvious that it's not a teenager onscreen?

One of the reasons could be that certain films' subject matter would be a little gross if it involved actual teenagers. For instance, can you imagine Wild Things where Denise Richards and Neve Campbell were their characters' age? Another reason is that it gets determined that the most important thing is talent over how old they are, which Chbosky said about Platt.

“You just have to hear him sing the songs,” said Chbosky, whose previous credits include The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Wonder. “His understanding of the character is so complete and so profound. I couldn't imagine anybody else playing it. It's his part. I felt very strongly about it. And to me it was never even a consideration.”

In his deleted tweet, Platt also directed people to a Vanity Fair article titled “Dear Evan Hansen Trailer: Ben Platt on Going Back to High School, One Last Time.” There he acknowledges the fact that he's since gotten older than when he first played the character on Broadway. However, even he was pleasantly surprised by how determined Universal was to keep him in the role.

“The need to get it done was a little urgent. Then of course the pandemic happened, and I kind of assumed that was that–it would be a no-go, and by the time the pandemic was over, I'd have outgrown it.” Said Platt to Vanity Fair.

He also told the magazine that hopefully, this would be the last time he'll have to strip himself into being a teenager. No more dieting, growing his hair out, and constantly shaving to make sure that it didn't look like he had a five o'clock shadow all the time. Which should please any “randos being jerks about age.” This news comes courtesy of Variety, Vanity Fair, and Insider.

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