Greatest Days review: Take That musical has spark but it won't relight your fire

The 90s pop group's jukebox musical is hitting the silver screen

Greatest Days (Elysian Film Group)
Aisling Bea, Amaka Okafor, Alice Lowe, and Jayde Adams in Greatest Days (Elysian Film Group)
  • 🎞️ When is Greatest Days in cinemas: 16 June, 2023

  • ⭐️ Our rating: 3/5

  • 🎭 Who's in it? Aisling Bea, Alice Lowe, Jayde Adams, Amaka Okafor and Marc Wootton

  • 👍 What we liked: The feel-good story makes it an easy watch, while the intricate choreographed performances are enjoyable.

  • 👎 What we didn't: The predictability of the plot takes away from its impact.

  • 📖 What's it about?: Five best friends have the night of their life seeing their favourite boy band in concert, and 25 years later the estranged group come together again for the band's reunion tour and they are forced to face the things that tore them apart.

Every great musician and band deserves their own film, whether that be a straightforward biopic or a drama inspired by their music, and now it's Take That's turn on the silver screen.

Read more: Take That's Howard Donald questions his ability to keep performing age 55

The group — which currently comprises of Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen — first became pop sensations in the nineties as a quintet with former members Robbie Williams and Jason Orange, but continue to perform and record as a trio.

The group's career has seen highs and lows over the years from their dramatic disbandment in 1996 to their triumphant comeback without Williams in 2005, and his eventual return to the group in 2010. However, rather than opt for making a biopic about themselves, Greatest Days is a jukebox film inspired by their music, based on the stage musical of the same name.

Greatest Days (Elysian Film Group)
Lara McDonnell as young Rachel, and The Band in Greatest Days (Elysian Film Group)

It follows five friends in the lead up to the best night of their lives seeing The Band (stand-ins for Take That), and then finds them again 25 years later when the estranged group reunite after Rachel (Aisling Bea) wins tickets to their comeback tour. But while the girls' trip is meant to be fun it also forces them to address the reason they grew apart.

Read more: Robbie Williams says there were things he 'didn't want to face' while making Netflix doc

As far as musicals go, Greatest Days is an enjoyable caper thanks to its fun reinterpretations of Take That's songs, like the airport-based rendition of Shine that features stylish choreography and elaborate costumes to heighten Rachel, Heather (Alice Lowe), Zoe (Amaka Okafor), and Claire's (Jayde Adams) trip to Greece.

The film is one of those light-hearted films that is easy viewing, and Bea and Adams bring great comedic relief to the story that also has some moving moments. Altogether, it's likely to become the feel-good hit of the summer, but it isn't without its faults.

Greatest Days (Elysian Film Group)
A scene from the rendition of Shine in Greatest Days (Elysian Film Group)

The plot, while enjoyable, is easy to predict which dampens the impact of later emotionally-charged scenes between Rachel and her friends, while some of the music choices feel a bit out of place within the context that they've been put in.

Read more: Howard Donald says all Take That songs are 's***'

Some songs feel perfectly suited for the scene they're used in, but there are others that feel as if they were added on just as a way to make sure fan favourites weren't missed off the list. When this happens it can be quite jarring: the placement of Patience is a prime example of this.

It might not have the longevity of musicals like Mamma Mia! in the long run, but Greatest Days is sure to delight fans of Take That in a new and inventive way.

Greatest Days will be released in cinemas on Friday, 16 June.

Watch the trailer for Greatest Days