Everybody's Talking About Jamie is based on the smash-hit musical of the same name and comes to Prime Video with an absolute spring in its step. This is one of those feel-good musicals that tells a coming-of-age comedy-drama in such fabulous fashion, making it a real shame it hasn't got a wide cinematic release instead of heading straight to streaming.

Jamie New (Max Harwood) is a 16-year-old and doesn't quite fit in. Instead of pursuing a "real" career, he dreams of becoming a drag queen. Uncertain about his future, Jamie knows one thing for sure: he is going to be a sensation. Supported by his loving mom and his amazing friends, Jamie overcomes prejudice, beats the bullies and steps out of the darkness into the spotlight.

The most successful aspect of Everybody's Talking About Jamie is its message of accepting who you are and choosing to live the life you want, no matter what others think and how they wish to treat you. It's delivered in such glorious fashion thanks to plenty of energetic musical numbers and some colourful costume designs. 

It's an admirable effort from Jonathan Butterell with what is his directorial debut however, it feels as if something is missing to take it to the next level for a musical. The songs are mostly good but there are a few that don't linger on the mind after the film has finished, something I always feel a little down by in a musical. 

The film is led by a dazzling central performance from Max Harwood, lighting up the screen with his presence and charisma throughout. Lauren Patel is almost too pure a character to believe in as Jamie's best friend, Pritti, while Sarah Lancashire offers stellar support as a doting mother trying to protect her son from a less than welcoming environment. It's Richard E. Grant who steals the show though as Hugo Battersby, a former drag queen by the name of Loco Chanelle, who comes out of retirement to mentor Jamie in his decision to take his dream to the stage. Grant is always one for a bit of grandeur and he truly goes for it here, with spectacular results. 

So, while it does send out a good core message to its audience, Everybody's Talking About Jamie doesn't reach the heights of some of Hollywood's greatest ever musicals but it does go down as a sterling effort from a new filmmaker and what should be a star-making debut performance for Max Harwood.

Verdict: ½


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