I hate musicals. They make me angry. In almost every single case, musical films are syrupy sweet cheese affairs, discharging a sort of simultaneous blasphemy against sound and vision. The songs are made for infants – something to jangle to while you slap your mobile in the stupor of a post-feeding high. The depths of the lyrics don’t usually rise above the linguistic powers of street signs: follow the road; the parade is coming; time to get ready for the wedding. And the dancing! There’s never a good reason, it’s the cinematic equivalent of those poor sign-holders outside of cash-for-gold shops. Just jumping around to keep your attention on them! Yeah, sure, they got talent, I can’t dance like that, but why would I want to? I don’t need to go into a number celebrating my gig cleaning chimneys.
The whole thing is like commercials selling candy to kids. Meaningless, seductive schmaltz meant to get you to think less and feel only superficially. For this reason, any reasonable society would do away altogether with the whole genre, to be used only in the most extreme cases of capital punishment. But there’s good reason to hold off on the ban (besides the 1st amendment, which because of musicals, I may need to revisit). See, every once in a while, cool musicals are made. Yes, it does happen. It’s almost always when the musical doesn’t use music like they use in musicals. Instead, they use good music. And instead of stories about lollipops and happy sailors, they use funny, weirdo, or awesome sick wild stories that drill into your brain and leave something behind you can actually use. So here’s a list of ten musicals you can watch without feeling the need to wield an ax in a shopping mall killing spree after you’re done. Enjoy.