Friday Favorites: Modern Movie Musicals

Music has always been a pretty big part of my life. I was in band. And choir. And took piano lessons for years and years. Near the end of high school and on into college, I also got into theater. These two interests met and merged and a love of dramatic musicals was born. The boy may wish it otherwise, but I have no problem sitting down to watch a movie where people randomly break into song or dance. Or one where it’s completely song and dance. He’s just lucky we don’t live near NYC, or I’d be dragging him to Broadway all the time.

So for today’s Friday Favorites, I thought I’d share some of my favorite musicals in movie form, in case you should also want to enjoy one of these from the comfort of your non-NYC couch. Some are based on stage shows, but a few are only in movie form. And I focused on more modern movies, rather than classics like My Fair Lady or the Sound of Music or otherwise this list would just go on and on. 🙂

Les Miserables

Les Miserables
Yes, the release of this version so recently may have been what inspired this post. Because musicals like this that are intense and emotional and have just devastatingly beautiful music are what I love best about this genre. Go see the movie (there are some great performances and you will probably cry if you have a heart), or if you’re able, the live show.

Phantom of the Opera

Phantom of the Opera
Another great movie version based off a stage show. This came out a few years after I had read the book and seen the Broadway version, so I was already excited about it. And it will forever hold a special place in my heart for introducing me to the delectable existence of Gerard Butler (yes, he plays the Phantom!). It is visually stunning, and I was impressed with the vocals from a then mostly-unknown cast.

Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge
Baz Luhrmann’s medley musical can be a bit much to take in, but if you pay attention the first 20 minutes or so, the rest makes sense. And you already know all the songs, since they’re pulled from pop culture (though there is an original song in there, which is quite beautiful). And it’s funny and strange and beautiful and heart-wrenching all at once. Plus Ewan McGregor.

Apparently I have a thing for musicals set in Paris, as all of the above three take place there. *shrug*


Slightly similar in flavor to the above is this movie, Burlesque. The similar part being the burlesque aka. women dancing and singing in scanty costumes. Plus Christina Aguilera sang a radio version of the Lady Marmalade song from Moulin Rouge, and is the star in this, so it works as a segue. Right? Right. This is a much lighter movie, in that it won’t make you cry or anything, but that girl has a voice and it’s a fun little romance. Plus Cher, which isn’t as weird as you’d think. Plus Stanley Tucci, who is always fabulous in his supporting roles.

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog
A musical for geeks and bloggers/vloggers. It’s hilarious in parts (Dr. Horrible is a wannabe supervillain in love with the girl next door), and also has some surprisingly great music. Plus Neil Patrick Harris. Plus Nathan Fillion. And if that doesn’t make you want to watch it, I’m not sure we can be friends, because those two actors are awesome.

How about you? What are some of your favorite movie musicals from more recent years?


Hi, I’m Amanda!

I’m a self-employed graphic designer by day, and a crafty hungry bookworm by night. Dragonflight Dreams is where I write about books, recipes, internet goodies, life things, crafty projects, Austin happenings, and more.

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