Why “The Greatest Showman” is the Greatest Show

Today, The Greatest Showman is released for digital download, after spending months with theaters full of avid fans.

It comes out on DVD/Blu-RAY in another few weeks.

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Personally, I have seen The Greatest Showman six times in the theater. SIX TIMES! I have never seen a movie even half that many times in the theater. I don’t even go to the movies that often. In fact, it’s an odd year for me to go to more than two in a single year.

But this was so worth it.

I kept finding new people who hadn’t seen it, and I’d take them so I could fall in love with the movie all over again. One time, I took my 19yo daughter back (for the third time) just because she’d missed the opening scene on her second time. And you CAN’T miss the opening scene.

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Two weeks ago, my husband and I decided to take the rest of the kids–again–because we’d listened to the soundtrack so many times. We went on a Saturday morning, 11am, almost three months after the release of the movie. So I didn’t think we needed to arrive early to get tickets.

We nearly lost out. We got the last four tickets. We couldn’t even sit together. The person in line after us was out of luck.

Sold out.

Three months after the movie’s release.

On a Saturday morning.

And when the movie finished, the audience clapped.

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How many Oscars did this successful, magical, popular film win?

A big fat ZERO.

Which proves what we all know: that Hollywood is clueless.

But the author/composer in me can’t stop analyzing why this movie is such a success. So here are some of the reasons I think it’s a smash hit.

(While pictures are great, they just don’t do this movie justice, so I’ve added some awesome Greatest Showman GIFs.)

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Why The Greatest Showman is the greatest show:

 

The Music

It’s absolutely phenomenal. It moves you–quite literally if you’re prone to dancing. It gets your heart pumping, and makes you smile.

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The Story

Following your dreams can lead to big, wonderful things. Outcasts can and should be loved. They can find their place and no longer be seen as odd, but amazing. Even P.T. Barnum isn’t labeled as an outcast in the movie, but technically he started out as one.

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The Music

Yes, I’m mentioning the music again. It’s that good.

The performances. The choreography. The integration of the music with the scenes (the hammering, the horses step to the music). I bought the soundtrack before I’d left the theater parking lot the first time. (The “Reach for the Stars” and “The Other Side” scenes are my personal favs.)

Listen to the soundtrack here:

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The Family Friendliness

I think the biggest part of its success is how family friendly this movie is. It’s PG, and not even a fake PG. It’s actually PG.

Critics can’t figure out how this movie has spread by word of mouth. Honestly, I only saw it in January after several of my friends kept posting about it on Facebook. Otherwise I wouldn’t have gone. As I mentioned before, I’m not a huge movie theater person. Now, I can’t get enough people to go see it. Young. Old. It’s for everyone.

Not only is there no sex, as well as minimal swearing and violence, but families are seen in a positive light. Shocking, right? A dad trying to support his family. A mom trying to support him. Cute kids who contribute to his magical ideas. Struggles, both financial and emotional. While I don’t know a single family involved in a circus, this movie has related to millions of people across the globe.

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And it has two very sweet romances. :)

My 10yo son who hates watching movies (especially movies I like) has fallen in love with this movie as much as I have. He was furious this week when I took his grandparents without him (during school). They loved it, too.

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No Politics

This is another huge part, I think, of its success. There wasn’t a single bit of politics in the whole thing. No social statements. No agendas. Nothing about destroying the environment or gun violence or crooked politicians. We’re all sick to death of news and politics–or at least I am. Two straight years of ugliness, and this was a desperately-needed breath of fresh air!

A happy ending for everyone. Hallelujah! (I’m looking at you La-La Land.)

This world can use A LOT more happy.

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It’s Magical

That’s what it boils down to. The combination of everything makes the story, music, and movie as magical as the circus.

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So . . .

If you haven’t seen it, GO SEE IT!

Buy it.

Get the soundtrack.

And fall in love.

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What do you think of The Greatest Showman? If you love it, why? And how many times have you seen it?

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MBM: The Writing Formula: Success in Any Genre by Jen Johnson

Welcome to the ninth day of MARCH BOOK MADNESS! (Full explanation and schedule here.)

Today Jen Johnson is here to discuss story structure. Jen and I met through my dad, when she was adapting his novel The Freedom Factor into a play. Since then, we’ve been able to meet up at a writing conference and chat online about writing. She’s a great person, a lot of fun, and very talented. So here she is:

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MBM: Developing Plot and Characters Together — by Tricia Pease

Welcome to the fourth day of March Book Madness. (If you’ve missed any days, make sure to catch up. The schedule is at the bottom of this post.) 

Today, Tricia Pease is here talking about how plot and characters can be developed together. Tricia is my niece, and I love her (and her family) to pieces. She’s been an avid reader and writer since she was young, and she’s currently working on two novels. I’m so excited to have another writer in the family, and I’m thrilled she agreed to come back to March Book Madness!

(See her previous post at the end of this one.)

MBM1

Tricia Pease:

When starting your book, what came to you first, the hero or the villain?

Maybe it was the plot or the setting?

I have two stories I’m working on, and for one it was the hero and the other it was the plot. But once I had the initial idea, I couldn’t move forward without developing both the story and the characters.

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7 Tips for Writing Multiple POVs

 

7 Tips Multiple POV

I’ve written six novels now. My preferred method of writing is using multiple POVs (point of views) to tell my story, meaning I have a few characters who take turns being the narrator. Five of my books use multiple POVs. One is told from a single narrator.

Today I want to give you 7 tips I’ve learned about writing multiple POVs.

1. Use as few POV characters as you can

Use preferably less than five per book.

More than five is hard to follow as a reader. My Citizens of Logan Pond trilogy has four, and it’s working out well.

2. Each POV character should have a reason for being a POV character

Ask yourself a few questions:

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Get Out Of Your Own Way

Get Out of your own way

When I first started writing novels, I had a lot to say about writing. I was learning so much and anxious to share, so I’d write blog post after blog post of, “Ooooh, look at this new shiny trick!”

Now…

I haven’t posted much lately. It’s not because I feel like I’ve learned everything. It’s the opposite, actually. I’m starting to think I’ve learned too much.

That sounds bad. Let me explain.

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