WARNING: HERE BE SPOILERS. Also, lots of swearing, as it turns out. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Full disclosure: Mary Poppins was one of my favorite movies as a kid and I still adore it. It is absolutely a problematic fave but here we are.
On balance, I did really have a good time at Mary Poppins Returns. But to say I liked it might be an overstatement, or just an oversimplification. I left feeling extremely, intensely ambivalent, and I’ve been wrestling with trying to nail down my response ever since.
Visually, it was stunning (although I thought the visual interplay between fantasy and reality was much less deft than the original). I also loved the performances. Lin-Manuel Miranda was a snack, I tell you what. And JANE. Ugh. Jane was everything. The little girl broke my heart. I cried several times.
I wasn’t crazy about the songs, but they weren’t bad.
My primary problems, as they so often are, were with the script. I liked the story set-up, but in the end, the writers simply didn’t seem to have control over what things meant. As a result, the movie felt unfocused and a satisfying resolution was essentially impossible.
Here are five simple changes I would have made to improve things, ordered from smallest to largest: