DIRECTED BY: Kevin Tancharoen
STARRING: Lea Michele, Corey Monteith, Chris Colfer, Mark Salling, Kevin McHale, Darren Criss, Gwyneth Paltrow, Amber Riley
RATING: 3.5 stars
In order to give this film a fair review, I must first confess that I am a Gleek. If you've been living under a rock for the past two years, a Gleek is a fan of Glee, the popular television series. But you don't have to be a Gleek to like Glee: The 3D Concert Movie, although I give you fair warning that you might become one after watching the film.
Glee 3D is a concert documentary shot during the Glee 2011 tour in the United States. The concert itself is great, and the 3D element is a fun addition, but we already know these young stars can sing and dance because we see them do it every week on the show. What the film reveals to audiences is the extent to which Glee has become, and I use this word both loosely and reluctantly, a phenomenon. It's had a huge impact on people struggling with their self-esteem, sexuality, ethnicity, weight etc. Glee 3D highlights just how important Glee has become for so many people, particularly teenagers, around the world.
Glee tells children and teenagers to be proud of who they are. It tells them to embrace their quirks and love themselves. It tells them to be accepting of others and to not judge people without getting to know them. Glee does all of this through song and dance in an unassuming and fun way. Even as a fan of the show, I am at a loss to explain how it became a “phenomenon” but all I can say for sure is that anyone who has ever felt like an outsider (and let's face it, who hasn't?) can relate to Glee.
Throughout the concert, audiences meet several fans who talk about how Glee changed their life and it is these stories that really make the film special. Among the stories is a woman with Asperger's syndrome who says meeting Brittany (Heather Morris) was the greatest moment of her life and how Glee helped her overcome many aspects of her Asperger's syndrome. We also meet a dwarf attempting to be crowned prom queen and a teenager who was forced to “out” himself as a homosexual. But the real star of the show is a toddler dressed in Dalton Academy uniform singing and dancing to Katy Perry's Teenage Dream. I don't think I've seen a cuter child on film in years!
In the concert itself, the Glee cast perform songs taken from Broadway and other chart-toppers including Don't Stop Believing, Born This Way, Raise Your Glass, Fat Bottomed Girls and Jessie's Girl. Lea Michele (Rachel Berry) was particularly amazing on several songs. I just wish Glee Club teacher Will Shuester (Matthew Morrison) had made a cameo alongside everyone's favourite substitute teacher, Holly Holiday (Gwyneth Paltrow).