The Tony Award-winning musical was adapted to the screen with a screenplay by Steven Levenson and directed by Stephen Chbosky.
Dear Evan Hansen is a hit Broadway musical that won six Tony Awards in 2017. The musical was adapted to the screen with a screenplay by Steven Levenson and directed by Stephen Chbosky, author of the best-selling book The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The film has received mixed reviews as some people praised the performance of the actors but critiqued the plot itself. The onscreen adaptation was picked up by Universal Pictures and stars Ben Platt as Evan Hansen, Kaitlyn Dever as Zoe Murphy, Colton Ryan as Connor Murphy, Amandla Stenberg as Alana Beck, as well as Amy Adams, and Julianne Moore.
For those unfamiliar with the plot, the story follows Evan Hansen, a high school senior with anxiety disorder. As part of his treatment, his therapist recommends he write letters to himself every day detailing the good things that happen. After taking a fall from a tree that gets his hand in a cast, his mother suggests he ask his classmates to sign it to help make friends. Connor Murphy, who is also a bit of an outsider like Evan offers to sign his cast.
In one of his letters to himself, Evan writes thinking about whether anyone would notice if he was not there anymore and also happens to mention Zoe Murphy, a girl he has a crush on. Connor chances upon this letter and is upset with Evan for mentioning his sister in his letter. The next day, Evan is called to the principal's office and told that Connor has died by suicide and his letter is assumed to be Connor's suicide note. Evan then invents a tale about his friendship with Connor and the tale soon becomes a sensation online winning love and adoration for not only Connor but also Evan. Evan is truly delighted when Zoe reciprocates his feelings. But his lies don't last long as it slowly starts to unravel.
As the lies Evan had spun do not match the timeline in real life, Alana Beck, another student, starts to doubt Evan. She even proposes a fundraiser in Connor's memory and notes how absent Evan is from it. She then uploads Connor's supposed suicide note to garner more attention to the fundraiser. This only creates more problems which then prompts Evan to come out with the truth, to protect the Murphy family from all the backlash. He then also reveals that he actually did not fall from the tree but jumped from it in an attempt to end his life. Growing up without a father and a mother who always worked, he had wanted to experience love, which he had for the first time.
To make amends, Evan sets off to actually get to know Connor and gets in touch with his friends, and discovers a video of him singing. He remembers how his mother always felt regretful for not having been able to hear her son sing. He then shows her the video and helps her find closure. He then decides to take a year off and work on himself. In the climax scene, he meets Zoe at the Connor Murphy Memorial Orchard where Evan's lies about Connor had started. Zoe does not confess her feelings for him and Evan vows to be himself no matter what.