Men Shouldn't Sing - A Review by Charles Eggen

18 November 2007 - Recommended

During the opening credits, a radio news report tells of
four Christchurch residents reported missing and
then cuts to a sleeping woman (Gina) alone in a room
who awakens singing instead of talking. In another room,
a man (Brian) experiences the same uncontrolable urge
to sing. Hearing a distant scream, they leave their rooms,
discover each other and come upon two others
(Steph and Pete) with the same condition. After about
6 minutes, they stop singing and discover they can
talk without singing.

A middle-aged woman(Carol) enters who says she has been
in this place for a week and there are others. She introduces
them to Hans, Felicity and Doug. Hans has been there the
longest - 92 days. They have found that increasing,
uncontrolable emotion forces them to sing and dance in
harmony. In the course of trying to figure out who has done
this to them and how to get out, various relationships develop
and are examined.

Pete and Steph have a disagreement which builds to a song
and dance number by the women concerning men's bad
behaviours, set in the environment of the men's rest room.
Hans dies and the others discover Hans has an implanted
electronic device, which they now realize they all do.
A troupe of 8 dancing (but not singing) zombies show up,
featuring a tap dancing duo that finishes up by removing
Hans, as they leave.

Brian and Felicity break out in song about a possible
relationship between them and Doug is singing a song
in the shower that Pete says is his song. The title song,
'Men Shouldn't Sing about their feelings' somewhat
counters the earlier anti-male song by the women.
Brian finds and rips out a string of hidden microphones
which results in the appearance of Dr. Lloyd Menkin,
who admits he is the one responsible for their condition
and he has come to retrieve the implant device that was
taken out of Hans. He is a neural scientist and a composer
of musicals and they quickly learn that he has a remote
which can manipulate those with the implants.

After Dr. Menkin leaves, they devise a plan of getting
him back so they can overpower him and destroy the remote.
In this they are successful and turn the tables on the him by
implanting Hans' devise in the doctor. After they all leave,
Carol returns to take the 'Men Shouldn't Sing' dvd out of the
doctor's recorder.

At one point the Carol character says that "Musicals don't
need to make sense". I agree - they don't. If they did, we
would all be losers. Although there are some aspects of
the dialogue that I feel could stand improvement and some
further editing would be helpful, I think this is a unique and
refreshing effort out of Christchurch that deserves great
credit for a entertaining and memorable score and libretto.
The soundtrack will probably sell quite well and deserves
to do so, but do make a point of seeing the movie, if only
to see something truly different this season - but careful,
you might find yourself leaving it with an uncontrolable
urge to sing.

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