Let It Shine
In Which I Continue to Commit Disney Induced Suicide
Why are there so many Disney Channel Original Movies? I only have one life.
Limited brain cells.
It’s practically impossible to watch every single one.
As proven by The Cheetah Girls, they aren’t all bad, but if we judged solely from High School Musical, I wouldn’t be able to say otherwise with a straight face.
Let It Shine stars Tyler James Williams, from Everybody Hates Chris. It’s a retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac. I have a bad track record with retellings, but I’m going to give this a chance. Sure, there’s going to be rapping and cheese and zero sexual tension, but I’m going to give it an honest chance. I like love triangles, so that’s already a point in its favor.
Cyrano de Bergerac is a play written by Edmond Rostand. Many, many movies have previously tried to tackle it. I would not know if they were successful. I’m not familiar with the source material. A bit of research tells me it’s about a guy, Cyrano, who thinks he’s hideously ugly. He falls in love with this girl, Roxanne. Another guy, Christian, falls in love with her, too. Cyrano starts writing her letters. Roxanne thinks they’re from Christian and falls in love with him. Drama ensues.
I can totally see how Disney would think it’s good idea to make a sterilized, sexless version of this for kids. Take out the incest and the murder and the historical elements and replace the letters with rap lyrics and we’ve got a movie ready for primetime. Kill me now.
I know I said I wouldn’t judge the movie before I watched it, but I just saw High School Musical. Cut me some slack.
Let It Shine opens with a musical number from a church choir. Of course its overproduced, but it’s not terrible. At least, it’s not terrible until they start rapping. Disney should stay far, far away from hip-hop.
We find that Cyrus, our MC, composed this number. He’s in charge of the choir. His father is pastor/minister/whatever of the church and he does not approve of rap. This becomes a major sub plot. I will not mention it again because it’s so contrived, filled with slut shaming, and epically horrible in that it mentions Christianity every other sentence. Do not want.
Basically, it becomes a minor conflict for Cyrus. Church/family or rap/fame/Roxanne.
Cyrus’s best friend, Chris, is also a rapper, but he sucks. They go to a club to flirt with girls — or Chris does (Cyrus is a busboy). We find that Chris has game, or swag. Cyrus does not. Cyrus wants a girl he can take to the Atlanta Jazz Museum. Guess who that girl is.
The next musical number is really bad, beat wise. The rapping is below average. It’s like a kiddie version of a Nicki Minaj guest verse. Finally, our MC raps. And he’s okay. He watches the rap battle while he buses tables, rolling his eyes at the terrible rappers on stage.
When the number is over, he accidentally spills soda on one of the terrible rappers. And they have a rap battle. He’s boss.
That doesn’t actually happen. Cyrus slinks away, leaving terrible rapper to brag on stage.
When our MC and Chris get home, they watch a BET-esque show which features their childhood friend, Roxanne, who became a popstar. She reveals a contest: write a song and if it’s picked, you sign with her label. Both boys decide to enter. Cyrus starts working on his song immediately.
Roxanne gets the song. But she thinks Christian wrote it.
Sidenote: Disney tries to defend the vocoder. Vocoders aren’t bad, but almost every popular artist abuses them.
FYI: this is a stupid contrivance and a huge plot hole. Whenever people send in content for contests, they are required to sign contracts and write their real name and etc… so companies aren’t liable and shit. This would never happen. Ever. Fuck this plot hole.
Roxanne’s first performance is bad. She doesn’t have much personality to speak of.
Of course, being a shitty friend, Chris lies about the song. Because he’s a douchebag. Because he wants a quick fuck with Roxanne. And being a doormat, Cyrus concedes. I am so sick of this movie and it’s not even a third over.
Cyrus and Chris record. Chris sucks. He can’t rap. He can’t freestyle. He’s a pretty face with no brain. Cyrus does all his thinking. And Roxanne eats this shit up.
I wish Chris would die.
And I don’t know why Cyrus likes this stupid girl.
Thankfully, they don’t keep up this charade longer than 50% of the movie, right?
Nope. This girl is an idiot. She and Chris deserve each other. Cyrus, you fucking sap, move on.
We get more vocoder praise. More bashing critics. Egads. This movie is bad. The entire plot hinges on a misunderstanding. A simple, stupid misunderstanding.
So, out of curiosity (really, just to get away from this horrible movie for ten minutes), I googled Chris’s actor — Trevor Jackson. He’s like Chris Brown Lite. As a singer/dancer, he’s not bad. He’s sixteen. Since he hasn’t beat down a woman yet, he’s not ready for fame. Excuse me while I hurl.
I listened to his cover of In the Air Tonight. He has talent. It’s a shame he has to play a douchebag in this piece of shit while talentless assholes like Chris Brown get press.
Next, I googled Coco Jones. Fuck Disney.
The girl can sing. Very, very good. She sings the fuck out of the national anthem in fourth grade.
Why are talented kids acting in Disney crap? Who knows. I guess they need a paycheck and Disney is the only one dishing out cash.
Eventually, Roxanne figures out the “truth” (this it the MC’s rap name — Truth) and it freaks her out. But she gets over it. And she hooks up with Cyrus.
The end rap battle was pretty good — as good as a Disney rap battle can be, anyway.
Final Thoughts: This movie did not need to be two hours long. If you can’t update your source material logically, don’t use it for chrissake. And don’t treat your audience like simpering idiots.
There is nothing fresh or new about this movie. And it does not capture “black culture.”