In a summer jam packed with remakes, reboots and retro 80s nostalgia, along comes “Glee: The 3D Concert Movie,” and exercise in instant nostalgia. “Remember when we could sit around and watch “Glee” on TV every Tuesday night… Wait! We can do that now!”
“Glee: The 3D Concert Movie ” literally sings to the choir. If there ever was a movie made for fans, this is it. A concert film, with real life fan testimonials tucked in between the pop songs and show tunes, the music loses most of its context when there isn’t a storyline to play off of. What’s left is essentially karaoke with some nifty dance moves thrown in.
First the music. Highlights include Lea Michele warbling through a Barbara Streisand tune, and a dirge like “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” sung with great charm by Chris Colfer but when Mark Salling sings “Fat Bottom Girls” it doesn’t sound so much like a Queen classic as it does the death of rock and roll. Ditto a truly odious version of “Safety Dance” that recreates a pivotal moment from Glee’s first season. Finally, when the entire ensemble sings “Don’t Stop Believin’” I really hoped that, like the season finale of The Sopranos, the screen would fade to black and someone would whack all the performers.
Better are the interstitials, the “Glee” testimonials provided by hardcore fans of the show. A host of real life Gleeks begin their stories with lines like, “Glee changed my life,” and, by inviting us into their lives tell us how the show has helped them through hardships. It’s all a bit Oprah, but the stories–told by a young gay man forcibly outed in grade eight, a woman with Asperger syndrome and a little person–have resonance.
I get the appeal of the show–a group of outsiders who sing inspirational song—but as they say in the movie, everyone can see themselves in the cast of “Glee,” but unless you are a fan already, I don’t think you need to see this movie.