Release date: Today (Friday, July 17)
Cast: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail, Anthony Veneziale, Christopher Jackson
Director: Andrew Fried
Run-time: 1h 30 min
Age rating: TVMA
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
What did Lin-Manuel Miranda do before Hamilton? You can watch We Are Freestyle Love Supreme online right now and see the award-winning musical creator in his younger days. Yes, before Miranda ever got his shot at fame, Tonys and the MacArthur genius grant, he was performing with a hip hop improv group called Freestyle Love Supreme along with future Hamilton collaborators Thomas Kail and Christopher Jackson.
Freestyle Love Supreme started as a game that Miranda and his Wesleyan University friends Kail and Anthony Veneziale played in the basement of the Drama Bookshop. They moved to beatboxing in the streets to performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and then eventually to reuniting on Broadway. Along for the ride was director Andrew Fried, who began chronicling the group in 2005.
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Freestyle Love Supreme also included Jama Monroe Iglehart, Bill Sherman, Chris Sullivan, Utkarsh Ambudkar, and Arthur Lewis. The documentary traces the group's evolution, as well as the difficult falling-out between founding members Kail and Veneziale over early performances of Hamilton.
The poignant and inspired We Are Freestyle Love Supreme recalls the creative dreams of youth and why this show still means so much to these accomplished performers. And it provides a unique glimpse into the early days of Miranda and Kail, whose collaboration would go on to yield the blockbuster musical Hamilton.
Here's everything you need to know about how to watch We Are Freestyle Love Supreme online.
How to watch We Are Freestyle Love Supreme in the US
If you're in the U.S., you can watch We Are Freestyle Love Supreme on Hulu which came out today (Friday, July 17).
How to watch We Are Freestyle Love Supreme in the UK, Canada or Australia
Unfortunately, Hulu is only available in the U.S.
We Are Freestyle Love Supreme trailer
The We Are Freestyle Love Supreme trailer opens with Lin-Manuel Miranda quoting Orson Welles: "If you want to tell a story with a happy ending, it depends on where you end the story." Then, it shows flashes of the group in the early days, rapping in the streets and in small venues. "It was a disaster," one of the members says. Miranda recalls having tennis balls thrown at them.
But of course, there is a very happy ending, as the trailer moves to the sold-out reunion run on Broadway. The once unknown group had become famous over the years, thanks to Miranda's side project. You might have heard of it.
We Are Freestyle Love Supreme reviews
We Are Freestyle Love Supreme is receiving near-universal good reviews. Here's a sampling of what movie critics are saying:
IndieWire: "It’s fun to watch these kids turn something out of nothing and spark joy in each other, even if that’s all we’re really doing here, and even if you’re the type of person who thinks that good improv is more painful than a bad sitcom.
AV Club: "And like Miranda himself, We Are Freestyle Love Supreme has an exuberant theater-kid earnestness that will either prove endearing or grating depending on how you feel about backstage warm-up games and spontaneous sidewalk performances."
Hollywood Reporter: "For fans of In the Heights and Hamilton, there are brief but satisfying detours into the incubation of those shows, with the creatives — Miranda first and foremost — readily acknowledging how much the energy and language skills of the FLS experience fed the development of the musicals."
Decider: "The vibe from all of them is extremely theater kid, which is much more endearing when you know the monumental contributions to theater many of them are about to make."
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Kelly is the streaming channel editor for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.