Candid Cinema

’13: The Musical’ Review

By: Amanda Guarragi

Growing up is certainly not an easy thing and at thirteen years old it can feel like nothing is going right. The teenage years a crucial in building your persona, and many teens have no idea what the right path is. Whether they’re influenced by their peers or being overprotected by their parents, it’s hard for them to go on their journeys. In 13: The Musical, a 12-year-old named Evan (Eli Golden) movies from New York City to Indiana and navigates his parents’ divorce, his impending bar mitzvah and his new school’s social circles. Teenagers have difficulty dealing with multiple things at once, so when there are major life changes it can take a toll on them. 

For Eli Golden to carry this musical on his shoulders is a big feat for a young star and he pulled it off beautifully. He has a wonderful voice, he is very charismatic, and his facial reactions made conversations even funnier. It is a generic coming-of-age story that highlights Evan’s Bar Mitzvah as this big party he needs to have to make his mark at his new school. At that age, popularity is a big thing for everyone. Evan wanted to be included at school considering his home life wasn’t as put together as he would have liked. At first, he meets the next-door neighbour Patrice (Gabrielle Uhl) who is kind enough to show him around town and become his first friend. 

Once school starts Evan notices the cool kids and he wants to get them to his big party. In doing so, his friendship with Patrice starts to get rocky because she is considered an outsider. It’s a very fun and engaging story because of the teenage angst, and the fact that Evan has to play matchmaker to get the cool kids to go to his party. The songs are wonderful and the choreography worked for the film adaptation. Every single child actor in this musical is extremely talented and they all made it entertaining to watch. Sometimes we all need some lighthearted fun with a good lesson, and this movie musical is a good watch for the whole family. 

13: The Musical is a sweet coming-of-age film that has a young Jewish boy discover the true meaning of friendship while moving to a new school. It is one of the more engaging Netflix movie musicals because of how charming the cast was. They worked together so well and it felt like they were just so genuine with their characterizations. For a Netflix movie musical with some teen angst, it’s a fun watch sure enough to warm anyone’s heart. It takes you back to your middle school years and makes you appreciate all your teenage experiences because they did make you the person you are today. Like all teenage movies there will be a secondhand embarrassment, so be ready for that.

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