Dear Evan Hansen, the breakout Tony Award-winning musical about a teenager suffering from social anxiety, and his brief friendship with a classmate who dies by suicide, is well on its way to movie theaters. Like the play it’s based on, the movie is meant to be an inspirational tearjerker, a moving story about a kid who just wants to belong.
Unfortunately, it is going to be hard for anyone to notice that, because Ben Platt — the actor who originated the role on Broadway and is now in the movie version — frankly looks like the 27-year-old man he is. It’s the most unintentionally funny thing I’ve seen in a movie trailer for some time. A relatable story about an anxious teenager in high school is undercut by the appearance of a grown-ass man in the lead role, looking like he wandered into the wrong building for his physical therapy appointment.
Musicals almost always make for a messy transition to Hollywood, and trailers aren’t necessarily going to convey the feeling the audience is supposed to get when they finally see big musical numbers staged for the big screen, but as first looks go, this is an odd one. Fortunately, Hollywood has a long and storied tradition of casting actors a decade removed from their teen years as high schoolers (Hello, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man) so with enough time, we’ll get over it. Maybe.
Dear Evan Hansen premieres Sept. 24.