For us, Wednesday is always the hardest day of the working week. It’s far enough away from Monday to make us feel like we have accomplished something, but it’s not close enough to the weekend to give us that Friday feeling. There’s a reason why it’s nicknamed ‘hump day’!
It can be difficult to find motivation and optimism at this point of the week. So, that’s why we’re recommending movie musicals! When you’re feeling down and lacking in positivity, musicals are the best way to lift your spirits again. Their bright costumes, catchy tunes and eccentric characters always make us feel a bit more joyous about the world.
If you’re in need of a song-filled pick-me-up, then we’ve got you covered! We’ve selected a list of our top favourite movie musicals of all time, that will help to power you through the rest of the week. Check out our picks below:
1. Mamma Mia
Of course, this needed to be at the top of our list! Although we also love its 2018 sequel, the original Mamma Mia film will always have our hearts. With its stellar cast, hilarious moments and ABBA-filled soundtrack, this movie musical is the perfect choice to cheer you up. Take a trip to the Greek island of Kalokairi, join Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) and Donna (Meryl Streep), and dance the night away! After all, you are a dancing queen.
2. In The Heights
One of our new favourites! In The Heights was only released in cinemas in the summer of 2021, but it has only grown in popularity. Based on the Broadway musical by the legendary Lin-Manuel Miranda, the story follows Usnavi, a shop owner who is struggling to get by in the Washington Heights neighbourhood of New York City. He longs to go back to his native Dominican Republic, but as he continues to form bonds with his beloved neighbours, can Usnavi bring himself to leave America? If you decide to watch In The Heights, we can guarantee that it will become your new favourite musical!
It only seems right to have Grease on our list, particularly after the recent passing of its star, Olivia Newton-John. Although it arguably hasn’t aged well, and despite the hilarious visuals of clearly-adult actors playing teenagers in high school, we still can’t help but love this classic movie musical. If you’re feeling down, transport yourself back to 1950s Rydell High, hang out with the Pink Ladies and the T-Birds, and watch Sandy and Danny fall in love all over again. Tell me more, tell me more!
4. La La Land
La La Land’s status as a movie musical is debated by some, due to the fact that it has an even mix of both vocal numbers and instrumental tracks. However, there is no doubt that this 2016 favourite is a beautifully-made musical film! La La Land centres around aspiring actress Mia and struggling jazz pianist Sebastian. The plot follows the pair’s journey together as they grow from enemies into lovers, whilst also highlighting how their love for their individual art forms starts to impact on their love for each other. Granted, it is a bittersweet film, but its soundtrack is relentlessly cheery!
5. The Greatest Showman
Not too long ago, this movie musical was the most talked-about film in the world. Hugh Jackman’s P.T. Barnum biopic became an overnight sensation, and it’s not hard to see why. With its uplifting characters, powerful messages and incredible choreography, The Greatest Showman is a remarkable musical. With a cast that also includes Zac Efron, Zendaya and Keala Settle, we always feel inspired to run away to the circus after watching this film. All in all, it’s the perfect pick-me-up movie. There’s a reason why its soundtrack remained at the top of the charts for so long!
Transport yourself back to the 1960s with Hairspray! If you’re looking to bring some joy into your day, then this movie musical would be an amazing choice. Follow Penny, a high schooler from Baltimore as she attempts to achieve her dream of landing a spot on the prestigious Corny Collins Show and becoming a television dancer. With its glowing cast (including Grease icon John Travolta), catchy tracklist and a heartwarming incorporation of the civil rights movement, Hairspray is always a good idea. You can’t stop the beat!
7. Tick… Tick… Boom!
This movie musical is the most recent film on our list, which makes it even more of a must-see! Tick… Tick… Boom! tells the true story of the life of Jonathan Larson (played by Andrew Garfield), the composer responsible for the creation of hit musical Rent. This musical - which is simultaneously based on a one-man production that Jonathan performed in 1990 - portrays him as he struggles to make it big in New York City, and is slowly losing grasp of his friendships, relationship and self-belief. Although the film ends on a sad note, Tick… Tick… Boom! still brings joy with its incredible soundtrack and messages of hope.
8. The Sound of Music
If The Sound of Music doesn't give you the warm and fuzzies, then we don't know what will! This 1965 Rodgers and Hammerstein classic is one of the all-time great movie musicals, with its heartwarming and courageous story of the Von Trapp family. Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer are absolutely magical together on-screen as Maria and Captain Von Trapp, and the children couldn't be more adorable. From the soundtrack classics of My Favourite Things to Do Re Mi, you'll find yourself singing the whole way through the film!