disclosure: We were invited to an advance screening of Dear Evan Hansen in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own. No other compensation was received.
Dear Evan Hansen, the book and Broadway hit, has crossed over to the movie realm. I have heard of Dear Evan Hansen, but had no idea exactly what the story was about. I was invited to screen this movie, and my teenager jumped at the chance to see this film. We set off to see our first movie in a theater since February 2020.
I cannot compare the Broadway version to the film, but I can tell you what I thought about the film, and if it is appropriate for children. So, let’s chat about Dear Evan Hansen, spoiler free of course!
About the Movie
From the studio….
Dear Evan Hansen, the breathtaking, generation-defining Broadway phenomenon, becomes a soaring cinematic event as Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award winner Ben Platt reprises his role as an anxious, isolated high schooler aching for understanding and belonging amid the chaos and cruelty of the social-media age.
Dear Evan Hansen stars Ben Platt, Amy Adams, Julianne Moore, Kaitlyn Dever, Amandla Stenberg, Colton Ryan, Nik Dodani, DeMarius Copes and Danny Pino. While some may criticize the casting decision of Ben Platt for Evan Hansen, I felt the decision was heartfelt. Platt originated the character, and that shows in his performance. He believes in his performance and brings the character to life.
Dear Evan Hansen features Grammy winning songs, including the iconic anthem “You Will Be Found,” “Waving Through a Window,” “For Forever” and “Words Fail.” The music, for the most part, was beautiful. “You Will Be Found” is classic, but others were redundant, causing them to be a distraction from the scene at hand.
Appropriate for Children?
***This section could contain potential spoilers***
Dear Evan Hansen is rated PG-13 for thematic material involving suicide, brief strong language and some suggestive references. I allowed my 14 year old to see this movie, as I felt the movie’s message was significant. But, there are a few trigger elements that might cause you to hold off sharing this movie with your children.
As explained above in the rating, there are elements in this film that would not be appropriate for younger children. Colorful language is present, as is suggestive references. These references are PG-13 worthy. The movie is centered around Evan Hansen’s actions after another teen commits suicide. While we are not subjected to details or imagery of this action, it is discussed. Later in the movie, it is alluded that another character attempted a suicide as well. There are many instances of bullying and mental health issues.
This movie does present a wonderful discussion opportunity for you to have with your teens regarding mental health, bullying, social media presence and honesty.
Be prepared. Dear Evan Hansen has a runtime of 136 minutes. Overall, Dear Evan Hansen was not a “bad” movie. M y teenager enjoyed it. I did tear up a bit, but it just did not move me enough for the ugly cry. We definitely used this film as a springboard for a conversation on the topics at hand. If Dear Evan Hansen teaches us anything, it’s that we are all broken, but we will be found. There is hope. For everyone.
Dear Evan Hansen is in theaters now. Will you be seeing it? Let me know your thoughts.
You are not alone
If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org to connect with a trained crisis worker.
Text with Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741 741