Review of Glee: The 3D Concert Movie


Movie Review: "Glee: The 3D Concert Movie" --

Rating: PG (for thematic elements, brief language, and some sensuality)
Length: 84 minutes
Release Date: August 12, 2011
Directed by: Kevin Tancharoen
Genre: Documentary/Music
Rating 3 out of 5

Fans of the TV show "Glee" may have been frustrated knowing that the cast's live concert performances were only going to be in a few cities during the summers. This show had become a total phenomenon, and everyone wanted more. So, after Season 2 ended, "Glee" went on the road once again, and this time everyone could see it for themselves-in the movie theater.

Filmed while the cast were on tour, "Glee: The 3D Concert Movie" gives every fan of the show a chance to see their favorite songs performed, but now the kids are right in the true spotlight where they have always wanted to be. Every student in the McKinley High School Glee Club gets a moment to shine, from Rachel (Lea Michele) belting out Barbra Streisand's "Don't Rain on My Parade" or Katy Perry's "Firework," to Quinn (Dianna Agron) and Sam (Chord Overstreet) being as sweet as ever when they sing "Lucky" by Jason Mraz. Artie (Kevin McHale) gets to show off his voice with "P.Y.T." and his dance moves with "Safety Dance." Finn (Cory Monteith) gets sentimental with "Jessie's Girl," and Santana (Naya Rivera) and Mercedes (Amber Riley) prove that they're still a big pair of divas with "River Deep, Mountain High." Even Brittany (Heather Morris) gets to shine when she busts a move in "I'm a Slave 4 U." Blaine (Darren Criss) is sure to drop by with the Dalton Academy Warblers to sing a few numbers. And yes, even Miss Holly Holliday (Gwyneth Paltrow) shows up to give the kids a surprise with Cee-Lo's "Forget You."

Even one of Season 2's original songs makes it into the show. "Loser Like Me" is sung with all the joy the students have in their hearts, and they still chuck glitter and confetti onto the front row with their slushie cups, just like they did in the TV show. "Glee: The 3D Concert Movie" evokes so much of the happiness and hope of the show that it's nearly impossible not to smile the whole time.

Seeing everyone on the silver screen in 3D makes the show that much more of a spectacle. It's a big production, but the audience also gets to see little moments with the kids backstage. Whether it's watching them warm up, get their hair and makeup done, or goof around with their classmates, the movie makes sure that we know that they're still just kids like everyone else. They make faces behind each other's backs and crack jokes about how nervous they are to be on that big stage in front of so many people.

What makes "Glee: The 3D Concert Movie" so special, though, is the parts between the big numbers. The audience gets to meet all sorts of fans of "Glee" who've come to the concert. Many of them have had some sort of struggle in their lives, but they say that watching "Glee" has given them hope and laughter during their hardships. Janae admits that it's hard to be a cheerleader who suffers from dwarfism, but she has her friends and "Glee" to keep her spirits up. We even get to see special footage of her at her school being crowned prom princess. Josey has Asperger's, so it's hard to be social sometimes. But seeing Brittany on her TV and then onstage during the concert makes her light up with absolute joy. And Trenton has struggled with how people treat him when they know he's gay, but by watching "Glee," he knows that there are other people out there like him, and he just needs to stay strong.

It's the ultimate message of "Glee: The 3D Concert Movie": to be strong, to be positive, and to be unashamed of your differences. The students in the Glee Club might not come from the same backgrounds or share the exact same gifts, but they've all banded together into this family. Whether it's Puck (Mark Salling) serenading Lauren (Ashley Fink) with "Fat-Bottomed Girls" or Kurt (Chris Colfer) making everyone cry with the sad, desperate rendition of "I Want to Hold Your Hand," the audience knows that these kids are strong because they have each other to lean on. And while the solos are great, it's the ensemble performances that truly show just what these kids are capable of doing once they band together.

The movie is concentrated glee and sweetness - try not to get a cavity.