People are realizing the real plot behind Dear Evan Hansen. And whether it’s the lack of gay characters, the casting of Ben Platt, or the questionable storyline, many are not happy with what they’re learning.
Earlier this week, the trailer dropped for the upcoming movie adaption of hit Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen. The story centers around a socially anxious high schooler who creates a series of lies after the family of a former classmate and bully mistakes Hansen’s letter to himself as their son’s suicide note.
After the trailer dropped, many people became aware of the film’s actual plot. And many were not comfortable with the questionable storyline.
the Wikipedia plot summary of dear evan hansen is probably the longest trip I’ve taken since the pandemic started
— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) May 18, 2021
me reading the plot summary of dear evan hansen on Wikipedia pic.twitter.com/LmEoaZNrhH
— joshua gutterman tranen (@jdgtranen) May 18, 2021
really a joy to watch you all google the plot of Dear Evan Hansen
— David Sims (@davidlsims) May 18, 2021
Normal people finding out what Dear Evan Hansen is about and theater kids trying to defend it pic.twitter.com/hj0GnhSROp
— hazel ♡ (@gayswordfight) May 19, 2021
oh dear evan hansen is certainly not what I thought it was about
— JP (@jpbrammer) May 18, 2021
Every day I tweet about how the story of Dear Evan Hansen, as constructed, is kind of an apologia for gaslighting, more people read the Wikipedia plot summary of Dear Evan Hansen and say, "WHAT THE FUCK????" and I get a little closer to God's grace.
— Emily St. James (@emilyvdw) May 18, 2021
But that’s not all. Some complained online about Dear Evan Hansen’s lead. Ben Platt originated the role of Evan Hansen in the original Broadway production. He won Tony, Emmy, and Grammy Awards for his performance in the show. But now that the film is coming out, many have a problem with his casting. Not only are they questioning the fact that Platt’s father, Marc Platt, produced the film but the movie is coming out on Ben’s birthday, September 24. In addition, many joke that 27-year-old Ben Platt is and looks too old to play a high schooler.
Ben Platt as a high school student in Dear Evan Hansen pic.twitter.com/BQWlNnfxXQ
— Erin Somers (@SomersErin) May 19, 2021
Ben Platt showing up to high school gym class in Dear Evan Hansen pic.twitter.com/SWr5U8Ijvl
— not nico (@notn1co) May 18, 2021
My least favorite Broadway trope is "child played by adult man in stripey oversized polo shirt" so please keep me in your thoughts during Dear Evan Hansen, and whenever they greenlight the You're A Good Man Charlie Brown film
— Jenny Nicholson (@JennyENicholson) May 19, 2021
DEAR EVAN HANSEN (2021)
Director: Stephen Chbosky#FilmTwitter pic.twitter.com/QJuRLPaHi3
— Matt Neglia (@NextBestPicture) May 19, 2021
for the exact same reasons lin manuel miranda did not play usnavi in the in the heights movie, ben should not have played evan in the dear evan hansen movie
— Trang Dong (@tranganhdong) May 19, 2021
“The film required me to revisit areas of personal pain, so seeing ppl excited & moved makes it so deeply worth it.” he wrote in a now-deleted Tweet before referencing a Vanity Fair article. “PS to the randos being jerks about age, read this great article and/or watch grease.”
That said, there are some who are coming to Ben Platt’s defense.
Disappointed to see friends on here who aren’t supporting Ben Platt. He can see these comments. We are just getting theatre back & that’s where your energy goes? The irony is Dear Evan Hansen is a story of loneliness & mental health. Think before you type.
— Ceili O'Connor | Actor (@CeiliOConnor) May 19, 2021
Ben Platt in Dear Evan Hansen gave one of the best performances I’ve ever seen on Broadway and I’m glad he’s starring in the movie so 🤷♀️
— Adam Feldman (@FeldmanAdam) May 19, 2021
Ben Platt is an EXCEPTIONAL talent. I don’t care who his dad is. I don’t care what his current age is. He tells a beautifully arched story in the way he sings a lyric and I’m a huge fan. So everyone please stop making your shifty comments. You just look jealous. #DearEvanHansen
— Scott Alan (@ScottAlan) May 19, 2021
The conversation has a third side to it, however. Many are surprised that the story does not involve a gay lead character. It seems that people who’d never seen the play production or heard the soundtrack believed that Evan Hansen was gay. As such, many were surprised and confused to find that wasn’t the case.
Nobody was gay in Dear Evan Hansen? pic.twitter.com/lCYIwbtpYy
— joey (@joeba_fettt) May 19, 2021
I am cracking the fuck up seeing so many people learn that Dear Evan Hansen isn’t a gay coming-of-age story and is just about a mediocre teenage liar
— angelina. (@whyangelinawhy) May 18, 2021
Gay Twitter reading the Wikipedia for Dear Evan Hansen today pic.twitter.com/1bWTltr1Qq
— Jorge Molina (@colormejorge) May 19, 2021
*holding finger to ear piece* i am hearing evan hansen is straight
— Jill Gutowitz (@jillboard) May 18, 2021
I definitely thought Dear Evan Hansen was about a gay boy who got bullied 😭
— Camryn Garrett (@dancingofpens) May 19, 2021
No joke, until this morning, I thought Dear Evan Hansen was a musical about…coming out? Or something? Learning what the actual plot of this musical is has been a JOURNEY. https://t.co/3L1G0F6tHA
— Ryan Broderick (@broderick) May 18, 2021
While the play production did not involve a gay lead, a recent book adaption of Dear Evan Hansen did make the character of Connor gay. But seeing as that character died early in the story and is mostly used as a plot point, it’s not the best representation out there.
Will Dear Evan Hansen the movie make that change and give it even more power? And, will the film survive this initial controversy? We’ll find out when the movie releases on September 24.