Con The First: All the songs, I AM SORRY, sound exactly the same, and I GOT SICK OF THEM. (That last part was capitalized because I had to yell over all the shouting at me.) Also, all the choreography was jumping, often cheesy, and uninteresting, except for the acrobat song where Zendaya and Effron were floating around, which was awesome... but also absurd and ridiculous... and, again, cheesy.
Jenny Lind... ahem.
Jenny Lind, like most people in this movie, was a real person. She was, in fact, a Swedish opera star. During the film she is described as "the greatest opera singer in Europe," or something. Then we finally get to hear her sing, and... wait... that's not opera. She's not an opera singer. Let me put this into context for those of you who happen to not be music snobs. Calling something opera that isn't opera... It'd be like if they described a dancer as a ballerina, then when she danced she danced a ho-down. It's all dancing, but there's a WORLD OF DIFFERENCE.
Now, I get why they didn't have her sing opera. Trust me. I get it. But don't just shovel pop at us and call it opera! Have it be like a dream, where she's obviously singing opera, but what we - through the view of Barnum - hear is the poppy song. OR just describe her as "the greatest singer in Europe," and leave the "opera" part out! As long as we're taking liberties! It's a MUSICAL! We're not going for realism, but do we have to LIE? Oy. In the great words of somebody somewhere, "If you bring a cannon on stage, you have to shoot it." The word "opera" is a cannon. Handle with care.
The subplot was more interesting than the plot. Is that a con? Yep. I just checked.
Most Objectionable Con Even More So Than The Opera Thing:
Barnum refused to admit his circus friends into the "opera" concert after party. They're so cheesed-off they sing my favorite song about it. (I don't remember how it goes, but it sounds like all the others except sung by the Bearded Lady who's quite possibly the most vocally talented of the lot.) But they NEVER RESOLVE THIS! The circus folk just kind of get over it. WHY INCLUDE THIS IF HE NEVER APOLOGIZES FOR IT!?!?!? Are we to take him returning in the end as an apology? Because it's not. Sloppy convenience is what I call it.
First Pro: The theme of "I'm enough as I am," is absolutely beautiful and relevant. I LOVE that it not only applied to the circus peoples, but to Barnum, who kept thinking he wasn't enough even though Michelle Williams kept trying to tell him he was more than enough.
Second Pro: The singing was nice.
My brother once told me he respected movies that accomplished what they set out to accomplish. This movie fulfilled its goal, but it was also dull. HOW COULD YOU SAY THAT. BOONIE?!?!?!?! I HATE YOU!!!! It's because I didn't care about Barnum. He was kind of a creep. He never sacrificed beyond risking all his money. I cared way more about everybody else, than I did about him.
But would I recommend it? Eh. I would tell you, "It's okay. Kinda fun. Kinda dull. Really great theme. Lots of people liked it." It reminded me of Newsies. I'd say it's better than Newsies. There. Sparkling review.
Okay. I'll leave it here, fully convinced some of my friends now hate me.