Everybody’s Talking About Jamie: A musical celebration of drag and resilience

The musical smash hit is getting the film treatment

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is bringing some drag queen glam to Sheffield with a side of life-affirming joy in this musical adaptation.

Based on the true story of Jamie Campbell – aka Fifi La True – and his mum Margaret, the film follows a teen boy as he finds his place beyond high school.

In this case, it’s to become a drag queen.

Guided by a veteran of the art in Loco Chanelle (Richard E Grant), Jamie learns to defy the odds and hatred around him to come out on top.

Richard E Grant stars as the season queen guiding Jamie to his destiny (Credit: 20th Century Fox)

First and foremost, his dad, who has disowned him. Next up, his teachers, want him to ‘be realistic’ with his future. Finally, it’s the school bully Dean, who takes his lack of smarts out on those around him.

But the film focuses more on the power a strong support network has on a teen. In particular, a queer teen with big dreams. This is never more present than with his mum Margaret.

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Played by Sarah Lancashire, Margaret is every inch a devoted mother, who buys Jamie his first heels and hides his father’s abandonment as best she can. By her side is Ray (Shobna Gulati), who is there for her best pal in any way she can.

Next to them is Pritti, Jamie’s schoolfriend and superbrain who, while timid, will do anything for Jamie.

This film, adapted the smash-hit West End musical, knows how to be a hell of a lot of fun. While celebrating the joy of drag, it also acknowledges the fight the LGBT community has had in order for Jamie to be in his position.

Everybody's Talking About Jamie
Jamie needs to learn to embrace their destiny despite animosity from those around them (Credit: 20th Century Fox)

While there’s some way to go in terms of acceptance, there wouldn’t be any acceptance at all without the queens that paved the way.

Mixing reality with musical fantasy as Mimi Me starts to form, so comes the uprising of those trying to knock the queen down.

Let’s be real though: this is a musical. You know there’s a happy ending waiting at the end of a very troubled (and glitter-covered) tunnel.

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Each song is carefully crafted to be uplifting and fun, and it helps that the celebrity casting, for the most part, can actually sing what’s been handed to them. There are no Mamma Mia Pierce Brosnan issues here.

It’s just such a shame that coronavirus lockdown resulted in a streaming service release, rather than a full theatrical one.

But if there’s one film that’s crafted for sing-a-longs, it’s this queer celebration.

Everybody's Talking About Jamie
Max Harwood and Sarah Lancashire star in this heartwarming tale (Credit: 20th Century Fox)

Is Everybody’s Talking About Jamie worth the watch?

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is just pure, heartwarming joy from start to finish.

Max Harwood is enchanting as Jamie, with Sarah Lancashire making an incredible turn as his devoted mum. Richard E Grant also rightly steals every scene he’s in.

Sure, there’s a couple of moments that are maybe a bit too glossy and wrapped up in a bow to be realistic – but hey, this is musical land. It’s what you really want.

Promising a world of acceptance and love, this is a must-watch for anyone who wants to feel a little more beautiful.

Because what a glitzy, fabulous world it could be if we allow it.

Rating: 4/5 

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is available now on Amazon Prime Video. 

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie | Official Trailer | 20th Century Studios

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Tilly Pearce
Contributing TV writer