Stupid things you've heard people say about Les Mis

Any discussion related to any production or staging of Boublil and Schönberg's Les Misérables.
Ilargi
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Re: Stupid things you've heard people say about Les Mis

Postby Ilargi » Mon Dec 28, 2015 11:58 am

I finally got my mom to watch the 2012 film and it was much funnier than I expected. She had been wanting to watch it for a while, mostly to understand why I'm so excited about that story and to know where the songs I usually sing come from, but she didn't feel like sitting there for two and a half hours watching some drama and reading subtitles. However, she finally did and she liked it!


What she didn't like was… Javert. She hated him from the very beginning. Literally. The prisoners were pulling on the rope, hadn't even started singing Look down, my mom was just saying "Poor slaves!" and suddenly the camera focused on Javert and she shouted: "That's the bad guy!". And that idea didn't get out of her head though I tried to explain that it's not so simple.

So my mom was very angry each time Javert appeared, it was very intense. For example, during the Confrontation, she said: "I would kill him!". And then, when Javert said "24601", she was also outraged: "Son of the bitch, he's calling him by his number!".

She also got angry when she saw Javert on the roof, even before starting to sing Stars, and then she couldn't help but "argue" with him…
Javert: I shall never yield…
Her: I shall never yield! Bastard! There must be tons of fugitives out there! Why is he so obsessed with that one? Leave him alone!
Javert: This I swear by the stars!
Her: Such a coward! He doesn't even dare swear it by God.

Later, she was really glad when Enjolras gave Valjean permission to do whatever he wanted with Javert and she didn't like Valjean's decision.
Javert: Shoot me now or shoot me later…
Her: Go on! Shoot him!!
I think at the end she did pity Javert, but all she could say when he stepped onto the bridge was: "He's going to jump! He's crazy!".


There's more. During Look down in Paris, when Enjolras first started singing, this was what happened:
Her: What a handsome guy! (Camera focuses on Éponine) He's going to end up with the girl.
So here I am, still wondering why some people ship Enjolras/Éponine since they don't even know each other either in the book or in any adaptation, and my mom becomes a shipper from the first scene they share in the film. She admired Enjolras a lot (you should have heard her saying wide-eyed during Red & Black: "He's the leader!"), she was totally sure he would get the girl because he's so pretty and so brave and everything, she even began thinking he would end up dying for Éponine… so she was quite shocked when she found out about Marius.
Éponine: Every word that he says is a dagger in me!
Her (mumbling, with a blank stare): She's in love with him.
So from that on she didn't like Marius. During A little fall of rain, she yelled: "Bring her to a doctor! He's giving her up for dead!".

Those are the main things. She commented more things, for example the "Who's there? French revolution!" part, where she shouted something like: "How can they be so stupid? Don't they see they're going to kill them? Who's there? Your enemy!", but I don't really think she can be blamed on that.
And this is not stupid, but I liked how supportive she was with Valjean during Bring him home:
Valjean: And I am old and will be gone…
Her: No, but you're in the prime of life!

Ilargi
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Re: Stupid things you've heard people say about Les Mis

Postby Ilargi » Mon Dec 28, 2015 12:00 pm

Ilargi wrote:I finally got my mom to watch the 2012 film and it was much funnier than I expected. She had been wanting to watch it for a while, mostly to understand why I'm so excited about that story and to know where the songs I usually sing come from, but she didn't feel like sitting there for two and a half hours watching some drama and reading subtitles. However, she finally did and she liked it!


What she didn't like was… Javert. She hated him from the very beginning. Literally. The prisoners were pulling on the rope, hadn't even started singing Look down, my mom was just saying "Poor slaves!" and suddenly the camera focused on Javert and she shouted: "That's the bad guy!". And that idea didn't get out of her head though I tried to explain that it's not so simple.

So my mom was very angry each time Javert appeared, it was very intense. For example, during the Confrontation, she said: "I would kill him!". And then, when Javert said "24601", she was also outraged: "Son of the bitch, he's calling him by his number!".

She also got angry when she saw Javert on the roof, even before starting to sing Stars, and then she couldn't help but "argue" with him…
Javert: I shall never yield…
Her: I shall never yield! Bastard! There must be tons of fugitives out there! Why is he so obsessed with that one? Leave him alone!
Javert: This I swear by the stars!
Her: Such a coward! He doesn't even dare swear it by God.

Later, she was really glad when Enjolras gave Valjean permission to do whatever he wanted with Javert and she didn't like Valjean's decision.
Javert: Shoot me now or shoot me later…
Her: Go on! Shoot him!!
I think at the end she did pity Javert, but all she could say when he stepped onto the bridge was: "He's going to jump! He's crazy!".


There's more. During Look down in Paris, when Enjolras first started singing, this was what happened:
Her: What a handsome guy! (Camera focuses on Éponine) He's going to end up with the girl.
So here I am, still wondering why some people ship Enjolras/Éponine since they don't even know each other either in the book or in any adaptation, and my mom becomes a shipper from the first scene they share in the film. She admired Enjolras a lot (you should have heard her saying wide-eyed during Red & Black: "He's the leader!"), she was totally sure he would get the girl because he's so pretty and so brave and everything, she even began thinking he would end up dying for Éponine… so she was quite shocked when she found out about Marius.
Éponine: Every word that he says is a dagger in me!
Her (mumbling, with a blank stare): She's in love with him.
So from that on she didn't like Marius. During A little fall of rain, she yelled: "Bring her to a doctor! He's giving her up for dead!".

Those are the main things. She commented more things, for example the "Who's there? French revolution!" part, where she shouted something like: "How can they be so stupid? Don't they see they're going to kill them? Who's there? Your enemy!", but I don't really think she can be blamed on that.
And this is not stupid, but I liked how supportive she was with Valjean during Bring him home:
Valjean: And I am old and will be gone…
Her: No, but you're in the prime of life!

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Chantefleurie
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Re: Stupid things you've heard people say about Les Mis

Postby Chantefleurie » Sat Jan 09, 2016 10:29 pm

Ilargi wrote:What she didn't like was… Javert. She hated him from the very beginning. Literally. The prisoners were pulling on the rope, hadn't even started singing Look down, my mom was just saying "Poor slaves!" and suddenly the camera focused on Javert and she shouted: "That's the bad guy!". And that idea didn't get out of her head though I tried to explain that it's not so simple.


Well, truth be told, the 2012 Javert was the prime reason for making me read the book... because in the movie he was so bad I didn't believe Hugo could write such a stupid, flat, empty character with an almost arbitrary suicide. I wasn't mistaken in Hugo. ;)

Ilargi wrote:Valjean: And I am old and will be gone…
Her: No, but you're in the prime of life!


That's funny!


But reading the last couple pages of this thread (my post included), does having read the book make us feel superior to people who are satisfied with the musical/movie? Though I'm not sure it's necessarily a bad thing unless it gets out of hand...
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Re: Stupid things you've heard people say about Les Mis

Postby Ilargi » Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:08 pm

Chantefleurie wrote:Well, truth be told, the 2012 Javert was the prime reason for making me read the book... because in the movie he was so bad I didn't believe Hugo could write such a stupid, flat, empty character with an almost arbitrary suicide. I wasn't mistaken in Hugo.

To be fair, when I first watch the movie, I was so overwhelmed by such a concentration of deaths that I didn't think a lot about that one.
I did think Éponine was empty and even stupid, the sort of character that is only there for you to pity her. Did she just live for this one guy and did she have to die just because he didn't love her back? Was she just the typical weak woman in need of a man? I didn't start to like her until I saw the musical.

Chantefleurie wrote:But reading the last couple pages of this thread (my post included), does having read the book make us feel superior to people who are satisfied with the musical/movie? Though I'm not sure it's necessarily a bad thing unless it gets out of hand...

Well... I don't feel superior to anyone because of our tastes, for example I don't usually like romantic films, but I don't feel better than you if that's your favourite film type.
We do know more about the background, the characters, the story than people who have only watched the movie or the musical, so do we have more knowledge. But that happens with any story (don't get me started with Harry Potter or you'll regret it :lol: ). If you're satisfied with that adaptation, it's okay, you're not obliged to compare it to the original work. However, I couldn't be content if I knew there's a book about that story I loved and I didn't read it. That's what happened to me with Les Mis, I was amazed by the musical and I just had to read the book sooner or later. But some people just don't like reading... and they don't know what they're missing! :wink:

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Re: Stupid things you've heard people say about Les Mis

Postby deHavilland » Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:28 pm

Chantefleurie wrote:But reading the last couple pages of this thread (my post included), does having read the book make us feel superior to people who are satisfied with the musical/movie? Though I'm not sure it's necessarily a bad thing unless it gets out of hand...


I wouldn't necessarily say that reading the book makes anyone superior to anyone else, but it does give a much greater amount of material to draw off of when coming up with your own personal interpretations as well as the historical context for the time period in which the story takes place. Once you've read the book and know that Cosette's name is Euphrasie, for example, it's tough to put a damper on that knowledge and not be like "well, of course her name is Euphrasie! Why are you surprised by that? Haven't you read the book?"

If you're a true fan of something, I would think that would mean you'd seek out to broaden your experience in every direction available to you. If you love a movie, you're probably going to seek out the book that it's based on out of your love for that film. If you enjoy one song by a band, chances are you'll look up their other songs as well. Maybe you haven't gotten around to it yet and you're not at the point where you can say "oh yes, I've read all of Les Mis," but I personally am usually pretty disappointed by people who don't at least try to indicate some kind of interest in the book on top of the musical/film.
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23623
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Re: Stupid things you've heard people say about Les Mis

Postby 23623 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:20 am

I don't feel superior to those who haven't read the book either. Agree with Ilargi and Havvy that it's a matter of different tastes. For me, I don't want to stop at the movie so I plunge into the musical and the book. But there are many people who are not as interested in the story as us, and who are more interested in some aspects (such as the music) than other ones about the movie/musical. It's quite normal that they're not knowledgable about something they're not interested in. So somehow I don't think we and those people are really comparable in terms of superiority. After all, tastes are just personal preferences and we all have the right to like or dislike something. Even though Les Mis is recognized as literature classic, it's OK to not love it. Actually I've read Pride and Prejudice twice and can't get myself to like it, but I never feel inferior to its fans. :wink:

For me, the major problem of few people being interested in Les Mis is, in fact, that I can hardly find anyone to chat with. Not even about the movie/musical, let alone the book. :(

deHavilland wrote:Once you've read the book and know that Cosette's name is Euphrasie, for example, it's tough to put a damper on that knowledge and not be like "well, of course her name is Euphrasie! Why are you surprised by that? Haven't you read the book?"

This has happened to me before! :mrgreen:

Um, back on topic. Just one of those classic "stupid things" which has been mentioned countless times before, but it's the first time that I've come across it myself...

Don't tell me that Les Mis is a book about French Revolution! :x
Last edited by 23623 on Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Ilargi
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Re: Stupid things you've heard people say about Les Mis

Postby Ilargi » Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:57 pm

_23623_ wrote:For me, the major problem of few people being interested in Les Mis is, in fact, that I can hardly find anyone to chat with. Not even about the movie/musical, let alone the book.

The same here. :(

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Re: Stupid things you've heard people say about Les Mis

Postby 23623 » Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:52 am

This has just happened to me:
"What are you listening to?"
"Les Mis."
"Oh my God, you like operas?"
"Les Mis is a MUSICAL not an opera!"

And this was how a friend replied to my review of POTO last year "If you like POTO, you must see Les Mis...it is also a great opera!"
The word "opera" in its title doesn't make POTO an opera, my dear, and Les Mis is not an opera either! :roll:

Really, a lot of people around me do think that Les Mis is an opera, or generally, musical = opera. But in fact it's not that stupid and definitely tolerable. In my language, "opera" = "a play with songs" and "musical" = "a play with music", so what's the chance for laymen to tell them apart? :roll: I don't know if this misconception is also common in other countries though.

I sometimes joke that I should write a letter to ALW and ask him to change the title of POTO to "Phantom of the Musical". Seriously, this will correct 80% of all these misunderstandings. :mrgreen:
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Re: Stupid things you've heard people say about Les Mis

Postby Acaila » Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:15 pm

Quote from a 12 year old Acaila on the occasion of Les Mis tickets being booked "I don't want to go see some stupid French opera! I won't understand it!" So yeah, I can't personally complain too much about that one!
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Ilargi
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Re: Stupid things you've heard people say about Les Mis

Postby Ilargi » Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:32 am

I had a similar experience not long ago, in Carnival, when I complimented a girl's costume because it was the same I had made two years ago, it was great and I knew almost no-one would recognise it. After a while, she came back to me and asked what my costume was because it looked familiar to her, so I told her: "I'm dressed as Éponine, a character of Les misérables". And she answered: "Les misérables! I've seen that opera! I liked it very much!" I was too amazed at the fact that she knew what Les Mis is to argue, but it did surprise me.

I don't really know the official difference between opera and musical, but I have a very clear idea in my mind. Like an opera is more classic (Verdi, Mozart) and a musical more modern (including all those cartoons with songs, Disney and co)? And I'd thought everyone associated opera especially with a specific way to sing, that's why I was so surprised to hear that girl call Les Mis an opera, but now I see she's not the only one.

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Re: Stupid things you've heard people say about Les Mis

Postby naomimi » Sat Feb 27, 2016 11:08 pm

So today I watched Les Mis with my mum and I expected her to say some nice contributions for this topic,but she thoroughly dissapointed me.
Besides not understanding the film at all and having me explain everything, the only thing I thought was stupid was that she said: "So why is it called 'Les Misérables'?" after watching the film, because I personally think that's really obvious. And that when I said they were so young, just about 22, she said that was really old for that time, but that was more annoying than stupid.

Tl;dr: My mom said nothing stupid;I'm dissapointed.

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Re: Stupid things you've heard people say about Les Mis

Postby 23623 » Fri Dec 23, 2016 3:30 am

Reviving old thread again because I want to. :D

Showed the Les Mis blooper video to a theater fan friend. I thought she might lol but her first reaction was "wait, other countries do Les Mis too? :shock:" Believe me, she is a theater fan, and far more knowledgeable than me at that. She knows everything that's happening in America. She just...really doesn't know that West End exists. :lol:
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Re: Stupid things you've heard people say about Les Mis

Postby CC21106 » Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:15 am

23623 wrote:She just...really doesn't know that West End exists. :lol:
:shock: How can anybody... even an American ...? :)
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Re: Stupid things you've heard people say about Les Mis

Postby Prisoner 24653 » Sat Dec 24, 2016 8:27 am

How did she react when you told her the French and West End productions of the show opened before Broadway? :mrgreen:

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Re: Stupid things you've heard people say about Les Mis

Postby 23623 » Sat Dec 24, 2016 9:34 am

...weeeeell, I didn't even have the chance to tell her that! As you see, the rest of our conversation went like this:

Friend: Wow. I mean, seriously, there are so many productions. There are even German and Spanish ones!
Me: My favorite Valjean speaks Spanish, and Germany has a LOT of amazing musicals of its own!
***and 23623's friend is totally surprised that 23623 likes “Dance of the Vampires” which leads to a lengthy lecture about the difference between Tanz der Vampire and that so-called English adaption***
Friend: You really know a lot about foreign productions! *takes out her phone and opens a playlist* Look, I grew up listening only to this.
Me: OMG the 25AC? (But how can you listen to this all the time without realizing that West End exists?!) You've picked a really bad one I have to say.
Friend: What?! I assumed it should be the best version of Les Mis!
Me: Because it's an anniversary? My goodness... but seriously, don't you find that Marius terrible?
Friend: What? Not at all!
Me: My dear...do you know Phillip Quast?
Friend: No.
Me: Anthony Warlow?
Friend: No.
Me: Do you know there is a TAC before this one?
Friend: No.
Me: :roll: :roll:
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