This explains why I haven’t seen Les Miserables and why I don’t really want to see it. First reason? It’s an opera and I don’t like opera. It is based on the Victor Hugo novel I didn’t like in High School.
Despite what anyone tells you, it is an opera, except it lacks the great voices that make real opera tolerable. How do I know it’s opera? Because they never talk. They sing, using a thing called recitative (pronounced retch-a-ta-TEE-va) instead of talking normally. Also known by its Italian name “recitativo” ([retʃitaˈtiːvo]), it is a style of delivery used in operas, oratorios, and cantatas in which a singer adopts the rhythms of ordinary speech — except it’s singing, sort of. Not melodic singing. Not rhythmic either. Just warbling along when simple speaking would do nicely. In operetta or musical comedy, they talk. Opera is too self-important for anything as lowly as speech. The whole thing is based on a story that didn’t make sense when I read it in French 40 years ago and classic, shmassic, it’s still stupid.
Sorry, what do I know? I mean so what if it doesn’t make sense? It’s a classic, damn it. It doesn’t have to make sense. It just has to be something you are absolutely required to read or else be considered illiterate and a Philistine. You don’t have to really like it. You merely have to nod knowingly when it is mentioned so that everyone can assume you liked it. Then they will wonder what’s wrong with them because they didn’t like it but can’t admit it without looking stupid.
It’s just like that naked emperor whose lack of clothing nobody will admit. You can’t say you don’t love a classic. It’s against the rules. It’s … uncivilized. Uncool, y’know?
But just so you don’t think I don’t appreciate what this is really about, I’m giving you this great picture of Hugh Jackman. Now you won’t feel cheated after spending all that money to see the movie when you didn’t like the book or the music. I understand. You felt you had to do it or be considered boorish. Can’t have that, can we.