Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright-director Lin-Manuel Miranda lends a compassionate look into the life of another Pulitzer laurelled artist, Jonathan Larson, in the carnivalesque musical biographical movie ‘Tick, Tick… Boom!’ Based on the groundbreaking semi-autobiographical Broadway musical rock monologue of the same name by Larson, the film chronicles the artist’s life as he navigates through love, death, career, and creativity.
Andrew Garfield delivers a swaying central performance as the eccentric artist, while a star-studded cast ensemble gives him company in various roles. If you are looking for similar visual masterpieces that blur the lines between theatre and cinema or maybe get your creative juices flowing, we have some recommendations in mind. You can watch most of these movies similar to ‘Tick, Tick… Boom!’ on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
7. High School Musical (2006)
Written by Peter Barsocchini and directed by Kenny Ortega, ‘High School Musical’ is a musical high school romance-comedy movie that is bound to make you revisit the heydays of live-action Disney. The story, which may or may not be a loose adaptation of ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ revolves around two polar opposite high school students who decide to have a stint at the annual musical drama of the school.
With their singing talents oozing out from every inch of their body, they posit challenges to the established elites of the school. Vanessa Hudgens delivers a stellar performance against Zac Efron in the leading duet. If Hudgens’ performance in ‘Tick, Tick… Boom!’ has caught your attention, you must check out the actress’ early vehicle to stardom.
6. Synecdoche, New York (2008)
For the artist, art becomes more than life, an obsession. In his directorial debut ‘Synecdoche, New York,’ writer-director Charlie Kaufman delivers a mind-bending psychological drama film. The story follows visionary theatre director Caden Cotard (Philip Seymour Hoffman sways in the role with his ubiquitous charm) who would go to any length to create the most epic theatrical masterpiece. Still, he feels increasingly alienated in his own life.
After receiving a large grant, Cotard attempts to write a dramatic masterpiece that would mirror his life and the city in relation. His vision turns into delusion, and his world spirals out of control. If ‘Tick, Tick… Boom!’ has made you wonder about the hurdles of the artistic process, this postmodern pastiche will deliver the message home.
5. Les Misérables (2012)
Directed by Tom Hooper, ‘Les Misérables’ is an epic period musical drama film adaptation of the classic Victor Hugo novel. The movie borrows its structure and lyrics from the French musical adaptation by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg. The story follows parole breaker Jean Valjean, who unwillingly takes a factory worker’s daughter under his care while being pursued by ruthless policeman Javert in the backdrop of a politically turbulent France.
If that is not enough to convince you, a star-studded cast ensemble featuring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, and Helena Bonham Carter would surely spark your interest in this exuberant adaptation of a timeless classic. If ‘Tick, Tick… Boom!’ has made you realize how difficult it is to create a musical, this epic timepiece will dazzle you with its production value.
4. The Science of Sleep (2006)
French director Michel Gondry is known for his distinct storytelling style and visual approach, which becomes all the more prominent in his third feature, ‘The Science of Sleep.’ The story of this fantasy comedy revolves around a young man who finds solace from the confusion of existence in his lucid dream world.
He meets a charming neighbor and takes a liking to her, but ecstatic flights of fancy jeopardize his courtship. Like in ‘Tick, Tick… Boom!’ set designing plays a crucial role in this movie. If you have liked how ‘Tick, Tick… Boom!’ tackles the entwined themes of reality and fancy, you must add this movie to your bucket list.
3. Dogville (2003)
Dogme-95 founder member Lars von Trier remains a largely enigmatic director in his time. The experimental drama ‘Dogville’ again proves the genius of the Danish director, who is known to challenge and subvert his artistic boundaries. The story unfolds entirely on a barren soundstage, giving it a resemblance to the theatrical medium.
A mysterious woman named Grace takes shelter in the titular town, seemingly evading a bunch of criminals. The townsfolks are happy to accommodate her, but they reveal the red in tooth and claw as the story progresses. And lastly, a cerebral twist ending does its job by thoroughly disturbing the audience. Nicole Kidman shines in the daunting abject role, and a minimalist approach reduces movement while intensifying the storytelling. Following ‘Tick, Tick… Boom!’ you may be eager to see another example that seamlessly blends theatrical and cinematic forms. If so, this slow-burning movie will keep you awake at night.
2. Sita Sings The Blues (2008)
Director Nina Paley gives a bluesy makeover to the ancient epic in animated romantic comedy-drama movie musical ‘Sita Sings The Blues.’ The story, loosely based on the Hindu epic ‘Ramayana,’ chronicles the life of Sita in exile. Sita is the ancient goddess, and she is a woman grappling with her cosmopolitan existence in modern-day Seattle.
With a catchy score, a hilarious script, a range of animation styles, and a distinct feminist charm, the retelling holds every possibility to enamor the audiences. If you are looking for a few more eccentric and experimental musicals following ‘Tick, Tick… Boom!’ this movie may be your perfect match.
1. In The Heights (2021)
Director Jon M. Chu adapts Quiara Alegría Hudes and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Grammy award-winning Broadway musical in musical dramedy ‘In The Heights.’ The pastiche story unravels in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Upper Manhattan, celebrating the lives of the area’s Hispanic and Latino culture.
The jazzy and experimental musical unfolds like a series of fever dreams on a sun-drenched day, with a vibrant and lively bodega at the center of this roving celebration of incessant life. ‘Tick, Tick… Boom!’ is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s directorial debut, and if you are looking to hear more from the genius, ‘In The Heights’ will be music to your ears, quite literally.
Read More: Where Was Tick, Tick… Boom! Filmed?