Phantom of the Opera
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45 thoughts we had while watching Phantom of the Opera (2004)

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Aug 3, 2018, 1:00 PM EDT

Like any musical theater lover of a certain age, I grew up on Phantom of the Opera. The Michael Crawford-Sarah Brightman cast soundtrack was on constant rotation in my house, and I had big BROADWAY DREAMS of appearing in the horror musical classic.

And then I grew up and realized this show is a MESS. And never is that made more apparent than in Joel Schumacher's 2004 adaptation starring Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, and Patrick Wilson. Holy toxic-masculinity-in-a-cape-and-lipgloss, Batman.

Please join me in my dank candle-lit basement lair for this Deja View of The Phantom of the Opera

  1. I have had to check my volume so many times because the movie — A MUSICAL — starts completely silent. 
  2. “Make everything look like an old-timey-ass movie" was a big thing in the mid-2000s. It’s like they figured out how to do it and just declared it a national pastime and then it got pregnant and made Zack Snyder.
  3. The chandelier is “Lot 666” because Andrew Lloyd Webber is nothing if not subtle. 
  4. “A collector’s piece indeed… will you still play when all the rest of us are dead?” I mean, of course it will. Look at it.


    It will kill you and play on FOREVER.
  5. So in the beginning of this movie, Patrick Wilson somehow becomes way older than Miranda Richardson, which is bonkers considering Raoul and Christine are supposed to be around the same age and Madame Giry is her friend’s mom and ballet mistress. It makes no sense but I’m into it because feminism.
  6. “Oh look, there’s Raoul and we were childhood sweethearts and he called me Little Lottie and what other inorganic backstory can I provide to you? Also there is no version of events wherein a childhood sweetheart thing betwixt me, Emmy Rossum, and Patrick Wilson isn’t creepy.” 
  7. Opera twerking.


  8. Like in all Joel Schumacher movies, one of a few performers know what kind of film they’re in. In this, it’s Minnie Driver. 
  9. What exactly does an opera ghost need money for? Is he buying groceries? Definitely candles. So many candles. Where does he get his candles? 
  10. OK. Look. Emmy Rossum has a fine voice. She is a very talented person. But replacing Carlotta with Christine would be like replacing Viola Davis for an episode of How to Get Away With Murder with my cat. I mean, Mona would do her best but no one would be stoked about it.
  11. Her performance was so good that lady needs to drink about it. Been there.
  12. Minnie Driver seen here knowing she’s in a Joel Schumacher movie.


  13. So the Phantom has been bugging this child her entire life because he’s an immortal basement man of dubious origin and she thinks he’s her angeldad. This isn’t a healthy start to a lasting relationship. Also stop kneeling on the floor in your costume, the costume mistress is going to hit you with a ruler.
  14. Madame Giry is just FINE WITH THESE GHOST VOICE LESSONS and facilitating GHOST WINGMANNERY. This is all questionable.
  15. One dude won’t listen to Christine saying no, the other just locked her in her dressing room. Of course you see why this is considered such a romantic love triangle.
  16. GERARD BUTLER’S VOICE IN THIS MOVIE. My gracious. In terms of terrible movie musical performances, it goes: Russell Crowe in Les Mis, Pierce Brosnan in Mamma Mia, then Gerard Butler. The bar is set high for lowness.
  17. Christine’s super turned on by her creepy basement boyfriend who’s been gaslighting her since she was 7. This show’s neat. 

  18. He’s not inside your mind. He’s right there. And if that torch gets too close to his hair oil you’re both DUNZO.
  20. He’s taking a lot of credit for her singing voice. This movie is the patriarchy. Sponsored by Yankee Candle.
  21. When the movie is like “No he’s just a dude, it’s cool” how does he make all the lit candles rise up from the water? Why are none of his vast array of cloaks and carpets on fire? Does he have a dehumidifier? Is the humidity why his hair is like that? How is her hair holding up this well, and by well I mean she looks kind of like Rowlf from the Muppets?

  22. “Grasp it, sense it, tremulous and tender.” Guys, is this song about a dong and I never knew it?
  23. His isn’t the only basement that’s flooded. Haha, we have fun. This is a Stockholm Syndrome nightmare.


  24. I mean I don’t know what she expected. A guy in a cape just took you on a tour of his wet basement. A scale model of yourself wearing a wedding dress is one of the least horrifying things he’s going to show you.

  25. He has a two-way mirror with a secret entrance to her dressing room. You know. To watch her get dressed. Like a creepy nightmare would. ROMANCE. MADAME GIRY IS INTO IT, THAT SKEEZY BISH.
  26. This isn’t a movie, it’s an assault parade. 
  27. Look his face isn’t that bad, he’s making a really big deal out of nothing. He makes 20,000 francs a month—it seems like that could get a topical cream or something. But the moldy basement can’t be helping. 

  28. I think Gerard Butler avoided some criticism because Ciarán Hinds is so terrible as Firmin. They dubbed Minnie Driver’s voice and let Mance Rayder do THIS to our ears? You could swap out the audio track of this film with six people passing large kidney stones and I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

  29. The Phantom makes dolls too? This is some Hereditary sh*t.

    Screen Shot 2018-07-28 at 6.42.24 AM

  30. A real theater lover wouldn’t interrupt the show like this. THIS IS TOXIC FANDOM.

  31. Christine was totally cool with having moist basement time with a caped kidnapper who watches her dress but it’s his skin issues that give her pause. Everyone in this show is trash and deserves each other. Team Carlotta, tbh.
  32. “I taught you voice lessons and brought you a flower and took you to my stink-basement and I AM THE VICTIM HERE.” This show is a caped ode to male entitlement. 

  33. I assume “Masquerade” is the entire reason Joel Schumacher wanted to make this in the first place and then he was like, “Ugh I guess I have to make a whole movie around this one scene.”

  34. I want an oral history devoted to why certain lines are chosen to be spoken in film adaptations rather than sung when they sound just as unnatural spoken if not more so.

  35. Schumacher decided to just do Titanic too while he was at it.


  36. The candle people are reacting like this because they know he’s their candle dad.

  37. It’s a good thing they included this freak show scene because what this movie needed was some abusive behavior.
  38. Madame Giry and the Phantom are the same age because age has no rhyme or reason in this movie, only candles.
  39. He’s trying to lure her into a mausoleum by making her think he’s her dad. You know. Boyfriend material stuff.
  40. Honestly though it’s all worth it for Patrick Wilson sword fighting in a puffy shirt.

  42. “This fate which condemns me to wallow in blood has also denied me the joys of the flesh.” THE FACE IS NOT THE ISSUE DUDE. LOOK WITHIN. THE CREEPY BASEMENT BOY WITHIN.
  43. That has got to be some stagnant nasty water to be wallowing in with an open wound. Raoul has six kinds of dysentery now. Candle-scented dysentery. 
  44. “Here, dead wife. I brought you this terror monkey from that time you got abducted. Good times.”

    Screen Shot 2018-07-28 at 7.35.50 AM
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