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13: The Musical About Making New Friends

Evan Goldman, a child of divorced parents, is planning a memorable bar mitzvah for his 13th birthday. However, middle school has a few obstacles along the way.

Bonnie Mukherjee
Bonnie Mukherjee
August 26, 2022
4 / 5
INCLUVIE SCORE
4.5 / 5
MOVIE SCORE

Evan Goldman, a child of divorced parents, is planning a memorable bar mitzvah for his 13th birthday.

13: The Musical is a coming-of-age Netflix film that is based on the hit Broadway show of the same name. The film focuses on Evan Goldman, a preteen boy from New York City who is planning a bar mitzvah, but his social life and plans are being interrupted by his parents' divorce. Now, he has to restart his social life when he moves to Indiana, a place he describes as "the lamest place in the world". This analysis will discuss why this movie is a great learning experience for kids.

This image consists of Evan and Brett

Evan and Brett

For one, 13: The Musical focuses on problems faced by many adolescents today. Moving to a new town, starting at a new school, making new friends, and dealing with divorced parents are just some examples of problems that are common among teenagers. In addition, Evan, the protagonist, is struggling with being himself and finding himself in a middle school environment. His first friend in Indiana is Patrice, who spends time with him throughout the summer. However, once school starts, he befriends the popular kids and betrays Patrice just to convince the cool kids to come to his party and fit in.

The popular kids, including football star Brett (JD McCrary) and head cheerleader Kendra (Lindsey Blackwell), see Evan as the "cool new kid" in town. There are many scenes in the film where Evan has to deal with peer pressure from his classmates as peer pressure is a common aspect of adolescence. Lucy, the antagonist, threatens Evan to prevent Brett and Kendra from kissing at the movies or else she will convince the other kids to boycott his party. This puts him in an uncomfortable situation.

This image is of Evan and his parents

Evan and his parents

Evan's parents, Joel and Jessica, and his grandmother help him fix the mistakes he has made. Evan reconciles with Patrice after seeing she is a true friend to him and stands up to Lucy for her misdeeds. The way Evan stands up to Lucy shows viewers that one must follow their own heart and not do something because someone told you to.

13: The Musical ends on a good note when Evan completes his service, and everyone sings that they have "A Little More Homework To Do". The song "A Little More Homework To Do" is a metaphor for viewers about getting started in middle school, adolescence, and life. During the song, we see how Evan is adjusting to his new life in Indiana as he spends time with his classmates.

Overall, this movie is a great film that shows viewers what life is like in a middle school setting. There is also great representation of African Americans in 13: the musical, as Brett, Kendra, and many of Brett's friends are of African American descent. We also see great representation of women, as this movie is directed by Tamra Davis, a female director.