Dear Evan Hansen Early Buzz: Either The Worst Musical Movie Ever, Or The Best

After many of us got our first look at "Dear Evan Hansen" through the film's trailer a little while back, to say that it has had a lot to prove would be ... an understatement. Having first come to life as a Broadway musical hit in 2015, the film adaptation starring Ben Platt reprising his role (despite the 27-year-old actor not really looking like a teenager anymore, to put it generously) has experienced an uphill battle from the start, much of which stems from his distracting appearance and the story's wildly questionable premise. Platt portrays a lonely high schooler whose therapist encourages him to write letters to himself. When a mishap leads one of his letters to come into the possession of a fellow student who eventually dies by suicide, Evan is suddenly inundated with all the attention he could ever have wanted and is faced with the choice of keeping up the lie. It's one thing to read that on paper and another to see it all play out in front of you as earnestly as possible. Either way, it's ... a lot.

Last night, social media reactions finally started coming in for "Dear Evan Hansen" and, similarly, they're also ... a lot. Brace yourselves, folks, because it certainly appears that whether you love or hate it, this movie will stir up some strong opinions.

Dear Evan Hansen Early Buzz

We'll start out with /Film's own Hoai-Tran Bui, who makes the safe (but no less accurate) bet that "Dear Evan Hansen" is going to have the internet talking, one way or another.

Things go mostly downhill from here. No less than two reactions cheekily invoke possible incarceration for those involved in this production that probably should've remained as a theatrical play, calling out its misguided handling of extremely sensitive topics but at least throwing some praise towards Platt's costars for doing their absolute best to redeem it.

The heroism of the surrounding cast becomes something of a recurring theme here, as more compliments are given to Kaitlyn Dever for making the most out of her role. Let's just say the absence of any other comments here speaks volumes.

Oh, and for those like me who are messy and live for drama? There's at least one glorious allusion to "Cats." Warning to the skeptical: if you weren't interested before, this may actually make you want to watch this movie now.

Otherwise, the rest of the negative reactions range from brief (very hilariously and pointedly so) to almost dumbfounded incredulity to, well, one last one that goes into a particularly specific plot point that my mind simply refuses to believe.

But rest assured, it's not all doom and gloom! Although many of these come with an admittedly noticeable amount of qualifications, many critics were able to look past the film's more glaring flaws to appreciate the emotions underneath. For one thing, it's at least very faithful to the original play — even if it's not quite up to "La La Land" levels of musical prowess.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that, overall, these probably aren't the type of responses Platt or director Stephen Chbosky ("The Perks of Being A Wallflower," "Wonder") were hoping for. But at the very least, those invested can look forward to some great compositions by the Tony-winning songwriting team of Benj Pasek & Justin Paul that do much of the heavy-lifting to wring some tears out of those of us who are easily moved.

For better or worse, "Dear Evan Hansen" comes to theaters September 24, 2021.