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Glee movie off key: storyline detracts from music

Despite my love of the popular T.V. show, Glee: The 3D Concert Movie left me disappointed and yearning for the elements that make the sitcom great.

As one of the biggest “gleeks” I know, I was pumped to hear Glee was coming to the big screen. I’ve been watching the show from the beginning, and I practically live and breathe Glee as each new episode airs. I’ve grown to love characters, like Blaine Anderson played by Darren Criss, for his great voice and good looks, and Jane Lynch’s Sue Sylvester for her dry humor. It’s my favorite show by far, and not only because of its many lovable cast members and witty scripts, but because I’m proud of how much it’s grown over the years.

Millions of viewers, or “gleeks”, around the world, are dedicated to the music and characters of the show. There’s even a reality T.V. show (The Glee Project) dedicated to casting new members for the show. The only thing Glee didn’t have was a way to directly reach out to all of their fans.

The Glee Live Tour was the solution to this problem. The stars sang and danced on stage, allowing fans to experience in person what they usually only see in their living rooms.

The tour lasted for two months from May 2011 to July 2011, and had a total of 44 shows in North America, the U.K. and Ireland. To the excitement of many Glee fans who weren’t able to attend the tour, one of the concerts in New Jersey was filmed, and was to be made into a 3D feature that would stay in theaters for just two weeks.

I counted the days until it premiered.  After seeing the film, however, I felt that it was lacking my favorite parts of the show.  Sure, the songs were amazing, and the feeling of being at the concert was great, but the substance of the storyline itself could have been better.

As a concert movie, I expected a few more performances by the characters of Glee. In reality, the movie was more of an awkward combination of a documentary, and a concert.

The movie followed, in depth, the stories of three huge Glee fans, and how the show changed their lives. It was inspirational, but I felt as if their stories belonged in a completely separate movie. The storyline was disjointed, and knowing that I missed so much of the cast’s talent in exchange for personal stories of fans was disappointing.  The use of small clips of fans waiting outside the concert was much more short and sweet, and fit more with the concert theme.

As for the rest of the movie, I enjoyed the concert portion. In my opinion, the stars sang even better live than in the studio versions of their songs, but the amount of songs was obviously less than the set list of the actual concert. It was also bothersome that certain characters sang far more songs than others. In particular, an amazing voice was neglected. Amber Riley, who plays Mercedes Jones, is such a fantastic singer, and I wish she had more solos. Much like the T.V. show, Rachel Berry played by Lea Michele sang an overwhelming amount of solos and duets in the film. Though I’m a fan of Lea Michele, and her character Rachel, I felt the need for more variety.

Above all, the strangest thing about Glee: The 3D Concert Movie was that each actor stayed in character, even when filmed backstage. I was looking forward to hearing the actors’, not the characters’, opinion of whole concert experience.

Even if the Glee movie didn’t impress me as much as I had hoped, I still recommend that any true fan of the show see it, solely for the purpose of seeing how far Glee has come since its humble beginnings in 2009.

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