The royals continue to have a moment, and Netflix's streaming of this Broadway musical about Lady Di adds to the zeitgeist without breaking new territory.
In Diana: The Musical, the star is portrayed as a pawn -- sweet, naïve, well-intentioned, and ultimately underestimated. It's not a new vision, fawning as it is, but setting it to song and dance is novel. However, this recording shows how difficult it is to offer a fresh or deeper take on such a familiar subject, especially while rhyming and hitting marks.
The power of a live performance is hard to capture on film, and theater settings look static in a movie no matter how cleverly they're staged, so the entertainment value of this film relies on fascination for the subject as well as the performances on display (film can offer close-ups you won't get from an auditorium seat), which are fine but not groundbreaking.
The quick pacing from number to number helps avoid too many lulls in the two hours. But two humorous numbers -- the introduction of sexy James Hewitt and Diana's butler's recommendation that she don an "eff you" dress to spite her husband -- are the definite highlights of the affair, suggesting that this work would've benefited overall from more self aware and, well, more entertaining pieces like these.
Read the full review at Common Sense Media.