Everybody's Talking About The Film Adaptation of Everybody's Talking About Jamie
Updated: Mar 20, 2022
Stop waiting for permission to be you.
This weekend, West End musical sensation Everybody’s Talking About Jamie was released on Amazon Prime.
I have heard nothing but wonderful things about this musical and was so excited that it’s silver screen debut was going to be accessible to watch at home!
Jamie New is sixteen and lives on a council estate in Sheffield. Jamie doesn’t quite fit in. Jamie is terrified about the future. He is going to be a sensation. Supported by his brilliant loving mum and surrounded by his friends, Jamie overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies and steps out of the darkness, into the spotlight.
The musical is based on the real-life story of Jamie Campbell (FiFi LaTrue) and his mother, Margaret.
Jonathan Butterell makes his feature directorial debut for the film, which has a screenplay by Tom McRae, the book writer for the stage show and music from the stage production by McRae and Dan Gillespie Sells.
The story is absolutely heart-warming. It’s a journey of self-discovery, self-love, and acceptance, not just for others, but for yourself. I laughed and cried throughout the movie, and have listened to the cast recording over and over since.
(Which is really all I want from any musical.)
It was also adapted brilliantly for the screen, with great transitions into musical numbers, and cinematography which shared both the intimacy and spectacle of live theatre.
I absolutely adored the casting for this movie! The balance between film and stage performance is excellent, and each performer is extremely talented and touching in their roles.
Newcomer Max Hardwood steps into Jamie’s shoes, with Sarah Lancashire as Margaret New, Lauren Patel as Pritti, and Richard E. Grant as Hugo Battersby.
Hardwood is so genuine as Jamie and has a charisma which instantly has you cheering for him from the moment he graces the screen. He is an incredible triple threat, but it’s the honesty in his performance which lights up the screen.
In the show, Jamie is supported by his best friend, his mother, and his mentor, and the actors which fill these roles are truly highlights of the piece. Patel is absolutely brilliant as Pritti, who is now one of my favourite musical theatre characters, Lancashire has a sweet singing voice and beautiful warmth on screen, and Grant made the movie for me with his solo number, which I will discuss shortly.
One of my favourite things about Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is that it takes the time to educate its audience about the community it represents. In a brief conversation between Jamie and Pritti, it discusses drag, gender, and sexuality - answering questions which people unfamiliar with drag would ask as well.
I also thoroughly enjoyed the new song added for the film, This Was Me. The tune is delivered by Grant as an aged drag queen remembering his past. Presented in music video style, it takes a peek behind the curtain of the glamorous way drag is represented in popular culture today, showcasing its roots in activism, as well as the losses caused by the AIDS epidemic. It was one of many moments where I teared up during the film, and might even be my favourite thing about it.
More than anything else, while watching this film I kept thinking about the humans this show represents. I thought about young LGBTQ+ people seeing themselves onscreen, in a show which represents, educates, and ends with love and acceptance. I also thought about young Muslim individuals seeing someone wearing a hijab. I still keep thinking how wonderful it is that this story is onstage, and that it is available for easy access to watch at home.
This year, the bar for movie musicals seems to be raising each time one is released, and Jamie is continuing this trend. Of course, I can’t speak much to the adaptation without seeing the show live, but I can genuinely say that this is the way I want to see movie musicals presented.
I can’t stop talking about Everybody’s Talking About Jamie!
I definitely recommend strutting over to Amazon Prime to watch this smashing movie musical. I hope to experience the show in person soon, but until then, the film will be on repeat.