It seems fitting to review this here even though it’s a cinema film, but due to its planned limited release combined with an apparently poor box office, it’ll be a lot easier to see on the small screen on dvd anyway. I will freely admit that in the absence of anyone in the vicinity who shares my love of Glee, I went to see this on my own. I settled in with my tub of ice cream and looked around the audience to find not just the teenage girls I was expecting but a large number of families with young kids, a scattering of ‘grown ups’ and a couple in their 60s sat right at the front. I actually thought I might be in the wrong screen. But I wasn’t, those are just (apparently) the people that love Glee (or have nothing better to do on a Friday afternoon).
I’ll get out of the way the bit I didn’t like, I went to see a concert film and was frustrated by the amount of documentary stuff that was there, focussing on a few uber-fans who described what a positive effect Glee had on their lives. It was sweet (if a little scary in some cases) but it felt much more like a dvd special feature than anything worth seeing on a big screen in 3d. It was also a little weird that these fans were talking about Glee the TV show, but the concert and the behind the scenes stuff was done (mostly) in character as if New Directions and The Warblers were on tour. It felt like it might be taking the joke a little too far. It also highlighted once again the issue that they’ve got an able-bodied actor playing a character in a wheel chair, particularly as they replicated the number from the series where he dreams he can walk and does a dance number.
The biggest problem with the documentary and behind the scenes stuff though was that every second of that meant that it wasn’t showing concert footage. I’d been pathetically desperate to see the show at the O2 so the film was a good way for me to at least get some of that experience and it only made me more sad I missed it. The musical numbers were everything that I love about the television show – they were fun and loud and entertaining and I just grinned and grinned through every number. I had to restrain myself from singing and clapping along, everyone on screen looked like they were having so much fun – the performers and the audience, it’s just impossible to watch without a massive smile on your face. They’re a talented bunch, even The Warblers who I usually find a little ‘meh’ were great, and Lea Michele is an incredible performer when you can escape from her annoying character on the show.
If you don’t already love Glee, there’s really no point in seeing it. To a certain extent if you’re just a casual fan of Glee you’ve already seen all the songs anyway, so there’s not really much new about this. But if you’re the kind of Gleek that cheerfully watches episodes over and over (particularly if you fast-forward to the musical numbers), then this will give you something else to add to your pick-me-up dvd collection.
The dvd doesn’t have a release date yet, but there’s a soundtrack cd