Musical Movie Moments

Sometimes I’ll be watching a scene in a movie and a song will come on. A song that is so perfect. Sometimes I’ll cry, sometimes I’ll just sit there with a giant smile, and sometimes I’ll get up and start dancing. On rare occasions I will sit with a giant smile, but also be crying, feeling all of the feelings. On EVERY occasion I will sing along.

Sometimes I’ll Cry:

“Needle In the Hay” / Elliott Smith / The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

This breaks my heart into a million tiny pieces. I can’t even.

“Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” / The Smiths / Never Been Kissed (2002)

Josie is finally having her special moment at the dance while her “friends” are plotting to throw dog food on her. How can you not cry for this poor girl?

“Superstar” / Sonic Youth / Juno (2007)

The scene is just so sad. A grown man is hitting on a pregnant, confused teenager and it breaks my heart.

“Fool to Cry” / The Rolling Stones / Beautiful Girls (1996)

I don’t know why but tears start to fall. I just go with it.

Sometimes I’ll Sit With a Giant Smile:

“Sweet Caroline” / Neil Diamond / Beautiful Girls (1996)

I love the idea of old friends getting together and singing around the piano. Especially really hot friends like Timothy Hutton and Matt Dillon.

“Tiny Dancer” / Elton John / Almost Famous (2000)

This is as close to a perfect musical movie moment as I can imagine. It’s simple but moving in a non-cheesy way.

“The Promise” / Rome / Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

Something about playground games evokes an image of innocence for me, as does this song. The idea of finding the right words to make someone fall for you is really sweet.

“Can’t Hardly Wait” / The Replacements / Can’t Hardly Wait (1998)

The various school pictures in the end credits. Also, the alien abduction.

Sometimes I’ll Get Up and Start Dancing:

“Faith” / George Michael / Rules of Attraction (2002)

Ian Somerhalder dances/jumps on a bed in his underpants. Ian Somerhalder. In underpants.

“Got to Give It Up (Pt. 1)” / Marvin Gaye / Barbershop (2002)

You got to give it up! And I do.

“Beyond the Sea” / Bobby Darin / A Life Less Ordinary (1997)

When Ewan McGregor starts busting out moves I feel inclined to join him.

“Under Pressure” / Queen and David Bowie / The Girl Next Door (2004)

Every time I hear this song a voice in my head says “I’ll always remember…” And that voice sounds a lot like Emile Hirsch.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” / Queen / Wayne’s World (1992)

I dare you to hear this song and not head bang. Go ahead, try it.

“Video Killed the Radio Star” / The Buggles / Empire Records (1995)

This works as a sort of subliminal messaging. I see everyone at the record store being super productive setting things up for Rex Manning Day and I suddenly feel like I need to be moving around, but rather than be productive I just sort of thrash/jump around.

“Magic Man” / Heart / The Virgin Suicides (1999)

Two words: air guitar. Two other words: Josh Harnett.

Sometimes I’ll Feel All the Feelings:

“If You Were Here” / The Thompson Twins / Sixteen Candles (1984)

Jake Ryan. A small part of me will always be waiting for Jake to show up in his red Porsche and take me to his house where we will eat cake while sitting on the dining room table.

“Little Heaven” / Toad the Wet Sprocket / Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)

Pike asks Buffy to dance and my heart explodes.

“Don’t Worry Baby” / Beach Boys / Never Been Kissed (1999)

My heart breaks and soars every time. At first I’m like Josie and I think Mr. Coulson won’t show up for her first kiss so I start to cry. Then he runs down the bleachers and the audience cheers, and because I’m like some sort of trained seal I start to clap too. Mr. Coulson rocks my world.

“Don’t You (Forget About Me)” / Simple Minds / The Breakfast Club (1985)

It’s mainly the voiceover that makes me cry. You know, the part where they each talk about how everyone is a brain, an athlete, etc. At the same time I’m grinning like a lunatic because now there is this possibility that everything can be different. In summation, John Hughes plays me like a fiddle.

“I Only Have Eyes For You” / Timothy B. Schmidt / Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead (1991)

I don’t know exactly what grunion are, but I know they run and are a super romantic date.

“Big Machine” / Ryan Miller / Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

It’s a song that was written for a dead girl (thus the crying) but the singer has fallen in love again (which makes me happy). So many feels all at once.

Sometimes I Don’t Know How to Feel:

“All These Things That I’ve Done” / The Killers / Southland Tales (2006)

The scene where Justin Timberlake lip-syncs to this song is so different from anything else I’ve ever seen done in a movie. It makes me confused and I don’t know how to respond to it. All I know is that at the end of the day, I like it.

Okay, so it’s not such a rare occasion when all the feelings come out to play. Music makes me emotional, and I’m okay with that. Please share what musical movie moments make you cry, smile, dance, or any combination.


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