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"DEAR EVAN HANSEN"
(2021) (Ben Platt, Kaitlyn Dever) (PG-13)


At-A-Glace Content Summary

Alcohol/Drugs Mild
Blood/Gross Stuff Mild
Disrespectful/Bad Attitude Heavy
Frightening/Tense Scenes Moderate
Gun/Weapons None
Imitative Behavior Mild
Jump Scenes None
Music (Scary/Tense) None
Music (Inappropriate) Moderate
Profanity Heavy
Sex/Nudity Moderate
Smoking None
Tense Family Scenes Extreme
Topics to Talk About Extreme
Violence Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Musical: A mousey high school senior allows others to believe that a classmate who's just killed himself was his best friend.
PLOT:

Evan Hansen (BEN PLATT) is a self-conscious and highly apologetic high school senior at Westview H.S. where few outside his family friend, Jared Kalwani (NIK DODANI), know he exists. With help from his single nurse mom, Heidi (JULIANNE MOORE), Evan is on various prescription drugs and is seeing a therapist, but that's only doing him so much good, with him too nervous even to shake the hand of the classmate he likes, Zoe Murphy (KAITLYN DEVER), after her unstable older brother, Connor (COLTON RYAN), yells at him.

Part of Evan's therapy is to write letters to himself, and after composing one where he questions if anyone would miss him should he leave this world, Connor takes that letter, leaves, and kills himself later that day. Much to Evan's shock, Connor's mom, Cynthia (AMY ADAMS), and stepdad, Larry (DANIEL PINO), think the "Dear Evan Hansen" letter was penned by their late son and, believing that Evan was his only friend, want to know everything about that apparent secret friendship.

Realizing his parents are desperate for any bit of comforting news, Evan lies that he was the boy's friend, and then continues with that ruse, including to comfort Zoe who didn't think much of her brother. That eventually blows up to the point that class overachiever Alana Beck (AMANDLA STENBERG) decides to create a memorial fund in Connor's name, something Evan realizes is now too far out of control for him to try to contain. From that point on, and as he gets closer to Zoe, the student continues with the ruse that's now made him famous and popular online, at school, and close with Zoe and her family.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of the stage musical or anyone in the cast, they might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For thematic material involving suicide, brief strong language, and some suggestive references.


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