Required Viewing: Musicals for People Who Think They Hate Musicals

For months, the only Broadway show that’s been making news has been Julie Taymor and Bono’s awesomely bad Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, which has made a depressing amount of money despite having injured a number of actors, firing much of its creative staff (including Taymor), and remaining in endless previews. So it’s good to finally see a worthy show usurping some of those headlines. The New York Times has hailed South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s The Book of Mormon as “a newborn, old-fashioned, pleasure-giving musical,” going so far as to call it “heaven on Broadway.”

Although, truth be told, it’s hard to get us excited about even the most critically raved-about Broadway spectacle, we’ve started saving our pennies to buy tickets. From their student film Cannibal! The Musical to Team America: World Police, Parker and Stone have demonstrated that a great musical doesn’t have to be a stuffy bore — and can, in fact, be as weird and profane as its creator dares to make it. In their honor, we’ve rounded up ten film musicals for people who think they hate musicals, all of which would make My Fair Lady blush.

8 Women

French director François Ozon is best known on American shores for erotic thrillers such as 2000’s Under the Sand and 2003’s Swimming Pool. But we’ve always had a soft spot for the sillier, less celebrated film he made between those two. Featuring an all-star cast of French actresses — Catherine Deneuve! Isabelle Huppert! Ludivine Sagnier! — 8 Women is a musical murder mystery in the grand tradition of Clue. During a Christmas gathering, the family’s patriarch is found dead in his bed, and a web of lyrical intrigue unfolds around the titular ladies.