REVIEW: Opening Night, Netflix

Ideal viewing if you are missing the theatre at the moment, Opening Night takes backstage of a Broadway musical and the hilarious dramas that can happen…

Anyone who has ever worked in the theatre can probably recognise some of the different scenarios and characters that we meet in this hilarious and naughty comedy.

Nick (Topher Grace) is a former Broadway star, now working as a stage manager on brand new musical which features plenty of one hit records and has It’s A Wonderful Life style plot. But it is backstage where the film really concentrates the bulk of the action. From leads being knocked out, musicians on the hunt for drugs – there is plenty of drama for Nick to have to sort out, while trying to win back his ex-girlfriend Chloe (Alona Tal).

From start to finish, Opening Night really embraces the chaos that beautifully unfolds – with plenty of cheekiness in the script to keep audiences wondering what next is going to happen. While it feels like a tribute to musical theatre, it also playfully pokes fun of everything about it – with corny musical numbers, the over-the-top characters and of course all of the backstage drama.

Written by Gerry Leon and Greg Lisi, the script is filled with so many jokes (this is very much an adult film – so any budding theatre youngsters shouldn’t probably watch) that really reflect the power struggle and hard work that goes into putting a theatre production on.

But just because there are plenty of jokes, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t an emotional grounding in the plot as well. The heart to heart talk between Brooke (Anne Heche) and Chloe in particular really showcases this, while there are other glimpses throughout the film of how the theatre community are really able to pull together and rally round each other for support.

It would be fair to say that the plot does feel slightly flimsy and could use more depth – particularly when things are wrapped up almost too neatly at the end.

This being said, there are some wonderful characters that are brought to life with great energy by the cast. In particular, Rob Riggle as the overbearing and controlling Mr Goldmeyer gives a really strong performance, J.C. Chasez ( yes him from*NSYNC as the film frequently refers to) as the egotistic and arrogant JC) and Lauren Lapkus as the anxious stage hand Alex to name a few. All of the cast really shine throughout.

Over the top? Yes of course but this is an immensely enjoyable film that makes you chuckle from start to finish. It is a welcome addition to Netflix who are certainly making sure that theatre fans are kept entertained.

By Emma Clarendon

Opening Night is available to watch on Netflix now.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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