13: The Musical Parent Guide
The story is flimsy, but the music is fun and catchy.
Parent Movie Review
After his parents’ sudden divorce, 13-year-old Evan (Eli Golden) moves from New York City to rural Indiana, just before his bar mitzvah. Now Evan has to navigate a completely new social environment, make new friends, and throw the best bar mitzvah this town has ever seen. All while figuring out how to be thirteen.
A good musical should have three main elements: a cohesive story, compelling characters, and great music. 13: The Musical nails one of those elements, but stumbles on the other two. The music, and the accompanying dancing, are fantastic. The songs are catchy, well written, and not too cheesy. Unfortunately, this adaptation of the stage production falls apart between the musical numbers.
I have not seen the stage production, but I have a hunch that a lot of story was cut to fit into the 90-minute time frame, as opposed to the usual 2-3 hours stage musicals command. What results is a story that feels rushed and incomplete, and characters that lack substance. I am never one to argue for a longer runtime, but this is the rare occasion where it would have been welcome. Entire scenes seem to be missing, which eliminates the relationship building that is needed for the plot to work.
That said, the movie does have some strong messages around growing up, notably that making mistakes is part of life, but how you deal with and fix those mistakes is what’s important. Although I have issues with the script on a structural level, I still had a fun time watching it. The songs, the dancing, and Rhea Perlman were enough to win me over in spite of the obvious flaws. A bonus is the almost complete lack of negative content, making this a great choice for young musical fans.Directed by Tamra Davis . Starring Eli Golden, Josh Peck, Rhea Perlman. Running time: 91 minutes. Theatrical release August 12, 2022. Updated August 12, 2022
Watch the trailer for 13: The Musical
13: The Musical
Rating & Content Info
Why is 13: The Musical rated PG? 13: The Musical is rated PG by the MPAA for some thematic elements and rude humor.
Sexual Content: Teens discuss wanting their first kiss. A teen couple kiss.
Profanity: There are four terms of deity and one mild expletive.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None.
Page last updated August 12, 2022
13: The Musical Parents' Guide
What is Evan’s focus when he first moves to Indiana? How do his priorities change by the end of the movie? What changes his perspective?
Related home video titles:
Another musical focused on thirteen-year-olds is Better Nate Than Ever, the story of a boy who wants to perform on Broadway.
A grittier look at the early teens is shown in Eighth Grade.