Primarily Because They Remind Me
of Certain Great Scenes in Movies or TV
Hall & Oates, You Make My Dreams ((500) Days of Summer)
Why: I love scenes in which characters spontaneously burst into song and/or dance in a non-musical film, and this is probably my favorite of all of those particular scenes.
Tears for Fears, Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Real Genius)
Why: This is one of the coolest movie endings ever, when the laser from space fires into the bad guy's house, causing mountains of popcorn to pop and spill out the windows. As this song plays, kids play in the popcorn. It rocks.
Aimee Mann, Wise Up (Magnolia)
Why: In the context of the film as a whole, the sequence is incredibly moving, as all of the characters reach a moment of realization about their lives.
Michelle Branch, "Goodbye to You" (Buffy the Vampire Slayer - tv show version)
Why: First, I love the song. Second, it's a pivotal episode in which people are parting in various ways. Third, and most importantly, the scene includes the most incredibly hot kiss ever between Buffy and Spike (at 3:25).
Heather Small, Proud (Queer As Folk - U.S. tv version)
Why: The song occurred in two prominent scenes, one in the very first episode and one in the series finale. The bracketing made that final scene all the move moving. And the song itself seems to describe the journey of the main character, Brian Kinney, who had little to be proud of at the start, but has grown tremendously by the end.
The song's use in the first episode:
And in the series finale:
Rawhide theme song (The Blues Brothers)
Why: Because it's hilarious, especially John Belushi.
Aretha Franklin, Think (The Blues Brothers)
Why: Because she's sassy & I love her attitude. Plus, what a voice!
Elton John, Tiny Dancer (Almost Famous)
Why: I think the reason I like groups of people singing and dancing in their kitchens or living rooms is the same reason I like this scene: people are spontaneously brought together by the power of music, and it's beautiful. In this case, there's a lot of pain at the beginning of the scene, and the music -- and the characters' love of it -- reminds them what's really important to them and brings them back together.
The Flying Lizards, Money (Empire Records)
Why: Because Lucas had run off with the store's cash and lost it in Atlantic City the previous night. Gotta love his fellow store employees' amused attitude, as well as Lucas's calm enjoyment of their antics.
Beatles, Twist and Shout (Ferris Bueller's Day Off)
Why: This is another of those scenes in non-musical films when people start singing and dancing, and I particularly enjoy the crowd involvement in this one.
Walker Brothers, The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore (Truly Madly Deeply)
Why: I love the silliness and obvious affection in the two main characters' relationship. Also, it's poignant in context, because she's been missing him since he died.
Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bad Moon Rising (An American Werewolf in London)
Why: I saw this movie when I was 11 years old, and the werewolf transformation scenes impressed me mightily, but I was even more bowled over by the dark humor and the frequent uses of irony. This is a good example, as an upbeat song plays while the main character is in agony.
An American Werewolf in London - Bad Moon Rising... by le0pard13
The Doors, People Are Strange (Lost Boys)
Why: Because it's a perfect ending to the movie, since it's full of weirdness. Sadly, I couldn't find any appropriate video, since the song plays over the credits rather than any scenes.
Franz Ferdinand, Do You Want To (Paradise Kiss - anime series)
Why: Because it plays over the credit sequence, which is animated in a completely different style from the series itself, but which has an amped up energy that really appeals to me.
The Temptations, Ain't Too Proud to Beg (The Big Chill)
Why: This is an amazing movie with amazing music and amazing characters, but this is possibly my favorite scene. I love the chemistry between all of the characters, the obviousness of their longtime connections to each other, their comfortable way of being physical with each other. Plus, I apparently have a weakness for movie/tv scenes in which people start dancing around their kitchens/living rooms.
James Taylor, Fire and Rain (Running on Empty)
Why: I was quite a River Phoenix fan, so I was one of the few people who saw this movie. And, hey, this is another example of people dancing around the kitchen together, singing along with the record player.
Modern English, I Melt With You (Valley Girl)
Why: The song just works really well -- in tone, at least -- with the story at the point when it occurs. It has the same kind of naive romance. Sadly, I couldn't find any appropriate video.
Peter Gabriel, In Your Eyes (Say Anything)
Why: A guy holding a boombox over his head. Do I need to have more reason than that?
Otis Redding, Try A Little Tenderness (Pretty in Pink)
Why: I love the Duckie character, and definitely prefer him to either of the other two supposed leads. Duckie should have gotten his own movie, and he could have lip sync'd and danced the whole time. He's the coolest guy ever.
The Dominoes, 60-Minute Man (Bull Durham)
Why: I'm a huge "Bull Durham" fan, and I'm not ashamed to say that I love Kevin Costner in most of his stuff. My favorite thing about this scene, though, is Crash (Costner) dancing in a silk kimono and white athletic socks ... and still looking sexy.
Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody (Wayne's World)
Why: The head banging. That is the reason. The head banging. Also, probably, my fetish for people being brought together by music.
Gary Jules, Mad World (Donnie Darko)
Why: Perfect for the ending of the movie, with all our characters in their separate locations, and yet the ending of the movie is more hopeful than the song might seem.
Rod Stewart, If You Think I'm Sexy (So I Married An Axe Murderer)
Why: Mostly because this reminds me of watching the movie with my friend Katherine, back when we were housemates about a million years ago. We found this pretty hilarious, and so now I get the funny of watching the movie PLUS the funny of remembering good times.
The Knack, My Sharona (Reality Bites)
Why: I don't think many people have seen this movie, or want to admit it, but I love it. I particularly love this scene in the gas station store, the realization that "Evian" is "naive" spelled backwards, and the Janeane Garafalo character's excitement at hearing "My Sharona" come over the speakers. Also, spontaneous dancing in the gas station store probably satisfies in me somewhat the same need as spontaneous dancing in the kitchen.
U2, All I Want Is You (Reality Bites)
Why: This is also from "Reality Bites," and I enjoy the melodramatic angsting of the separated lovers and how it combines with the moaning sort of complaint of the song. It's self-indulgent, but there's nothing wrong with being self-indulgent once in a while.
Mike Doughty, I Hear the Bells (Veronica Mars)
Why: I probably mostly like this song because it plays during a fairly pivotal romantic scene between Veronica and Logan, the scene in which he says he thought their relationship was "epic."
Steve Conte & the Seatbelts, Call Me Call Me (Cowboy Bebop)
Why: I seem to particularly like songs that play either in the final scenes of movies/tv shows or actually over the credits. They often have the most emotional punch for me, and so stick with me long afterward. This song played during the final few minutes of "Cowboy Bebop"'s series finale, as our familiar characters go their separate ways after long travels together, and our little band of companions dissolves. It's a sad scene, but the music sort of lifts it up, reminding us that each of these characters is heading off on another adventure, it just won't include the same companions.