If you've flipped on a TV or checked out the movie listings recently, you know we are in the dog days of summer entertainment. So, I offer a prescriptive. (It won't be for everyone, but then what is?) OK, gulp, here it is: "Glee: The 3D Concert Movie." Sorry. But I couldn’t help but feel better in the face of all that, well, gleefulness.
I do like the Fox series (the agony and the ecstasy of a high school glee club, if you’ve been living on another planet), but I’d resisted the idea of the concert film. It just seemed an inherently thin idea. And when compared with some of the greats, say Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Waltz” on the Band, exceptional for both its music and its insight, it is.
But a hallmark of the show, in addition to some of the best musical mash-ups ever, is its celebration of differences, an ode to the outsiders that pack high school hallways. Those kids get an almost equal voice here.
Very energetic stage bits with all the “Glee” kids –- Lea Michele, Chris Colfer, Cory Monteith and the rest –- are intercut with fan interviews, from the funny to the exceedingly moving. The pretty cheerleading dwarf talking about her challenges and her date to the prom, the 19-year-old remembering the pain of being outed in eighth grade, and so it goes. For them, “Glee” represents validation, as significant as the enjoyment to be had from all those show-stopping Broadway-styled productions.
So if you’re feeling down, and troubled, and you need a helping hand…
-- Betsy Sharkey
Photo: Blaine (Darren Criss) in "Glee: The 3D Concert Movie." Credit: Adam Rose / Twentieth Century Fox