A lot of movies, that are not actually musicals, have one scene that sticks with you: one song, one dance, one lip-synch, one karaoke, one duet that just uplifts the movie. Those scenes quite rarely make it into the trailers, as the movie is not intended to be musical in its nature, but as an audience we react very strongly to music, it is something that connects us all, and it stay with us too. I personally remember movies by soundtrack and original score much more than plot or casting decisions. Even if, admittedly, it is the actors who bring those scenes to life. It is really an amalgamation of a lot of little details that come together at the right time. But when it does, thanks to the script, the director, the actor, the music... it just makes it iconic. So let's talk about the top 10 musical scenes from movies that we all sing together to even years later:
10) "You Make My Dreams Come True" (500) Days of Summer (2009)
I remember when I watched this movie for the first time, and how I immediately connected with the scene where Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) dances in the park after he spent the night with Summer (Zooey Deschanel). The best thing about this scene is that I have personally felt that way before, wanting to dance in the middle of the street, trying to express emotion through dance. It is just a super fun scene that highlights the emotional ups and downs of a relationship.
9) "Touch Me" Wayne's World (1992)
This might not have stuck with everyone, but it was definitely stuck with me. This is one of our favorite family movies, something we re-watch yearly and just cannot grow tired of it. In it, Wayne (Mike Myers) falls in love with a singer he sees on stage at a club, as she is singing this song. She was Tia Carrere, playing Cassandra, and the original is by Private Life. I hope you give this scene a chance because this song is simply awesome.
8) "My God (My Guy)" Sister Act (1992)
Arguably this movie is much more musical than the others on the list, but it was definitely the musical pieces that made it so memorable. And also the ones that made it possible for it to actually be turned into a musical - many years later. But aside from the wonderful casting and dialogues in this kick-ass movie, one or two songs just stay with you more than anything else. One of those was probably the minute the nuns turned a new leaf when Deloris (Whoopi Goldberg) helped them perform for the first time under her guidance. God I love this movie!
7) "Pop! Goes My Heart" Music and Lyrics (2007)
In this hilarious movie about music, there is one song that simply made the movie just ten times better than I could have hoped for. The main character, Alex Fletcher (Hugh Grant) was big in his 80s pop band, but they were more of a one hit wonder, and their biggest success is at the beginning of the movie. Of all the 80s parodies I have seen this by far the best one out there. And I say that being the biggest fan of the 80s: the music, the hair, the videos, our collections of tapes, the colors, all those stars who broke and still, up to today are among our favorites... this one 3 minute song revived all those emotions in me and I am sure it did the same for others.
6) "Cuban Pete" The Mask (1994)
Of all the criticism that might fall on this movie years later, as it did not hit all the right notes with everyone, I can still tell you that everyone remembers the dancing scene where the Mask (Jim Carrey) enchants the police in order to run away from them. This scene just makes me so happy and I love to sing along to it, I don't even mind if it gets stuck in my ears!
5) "I'm Checking Out" Postcards From The Edge (1990)
I remember when people were shocked that Meryl Streep is going to star in Mamma Mia! (2008), and I knew already that she had the pipes for it and my research was based on this wonderful movie. In it, Streep plays Suzanne Vale, an actress who decided to leave her singing career behind for a career in acting. Having been assigned to the care of her mom after rehab, she ends up performing and also taking a role where she sings, something that in the end takes her back to herself.
4) "I Love You Baby"10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
I do believe that people fell in love with Heath Ledger here and they never stopped loving him ever since. I don't even see the point in talking about this scene, you all know it, you all love it, you should probably re-watch it, here we go:
3) "Say A Little Prayer For You" My Best Friends Wedding (1997)
Well, after number 4, the next one that I am sure you all cannot help but sing along to, maybe so much that you actually recall this scene instead of the original when you hear covers of it on the radio. That's right, we still listen to the radio, you know you do, without noticing even, radio will always be in the background for us. That said, this is just such an iconic silly scene, that encaptures so many emotions... each time I watch it I notice yet another character going through something, because this song has a meaning for everyone, and it is different for all. I just love Rupert Everett in this scene.
2) "You Don't Own Me" The First Wives Club (1996)
God I love this song, and I remember when recorded it on VHS and I literally rewinded to the beginning of the song 19 times in a row, just so I can listen to this song. Of course, the whole movie is just awesome, but the song just empowers you in a way that I cannot put into words. You gotta see it, trust me, so make sure you check it out now if you haven't yet:
1) "Inva Mula (Lucia di Lammermoor)/The Diva Dance" The Fifth Element (1997)
There are of course so many movies that feature performances too that the protagonists experience. Very few of those, however, have the same impact as when it is actually performed by someone in the cast. Nonetheless, those performances make it to the soundtrack and scores - I mean if it is available at all, most of these awesome covers only exist in the movies -, and because of that they still count into my list. The best performance, however, also has to be the number one on this list, and that is by the Diva in The Fifth Element in the third act of the movie. As she sings a fight montage ensues, but at the same time, were are just sitting there with Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis) taking in the song and feeling every note as the goose bumps show up. It is just a great example of a director knowing what he is doing.
So these are my favorites. Admittedly, most of them are from the 90s, my childhood, but hey, this is not a defintie list, feel free to add anything and help me out to make this even better. Feel free to help me out in the comments below.
Until my next top ten!