Natural Born Reviewers | Great Song Moments from Non-Musicals
The idea of musicals is both odd and whimsical — it’s slightly unsettling for people to simply burst into song, but it can be quite entertaining. Odder are the moments when musical numbers appear in otherwise non-musical movies. But this juxtaposition can set up some of the funniest (and weirdest) scenes for the delight of audiences everywhere. Here in no particular order are twelve of these melodic interjections.
1. “I Say a Little Prayer” — My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)
Rupert Everett, pretending to be Julia Roberts’s fiancé, has just finished embarrassing her in front her of her love interest Dermot Mulroney and his in-laws — part of a larger effort to protest her sabotaging Mulroney’s wedding. And then Everett takes it one step further and starts to sing…inspiring the entire table, then the whole restaurant, to sing with him. Loads of fun!
More after the jump!
2. “Afternoon Delight” — Anchorman (2004)
This is probably one of the most well-known examples of spontaneous in-plot songs. So well known that this barely needs introduction. Here now are the dulcet tones of Ron Burgundy and his news team to explain what love is.
3. “Let’s Do It” — Tank Girl (1995)
Tank Girl is a bizarre but fun dystopian future romp, and this scene basically comes out of nowhere. After our heroine rescues a little girl from an evil bordello, she seeks to punish the Madam severely…by making her sing! It’s ludicrous, makes no sense, and is in total keeping with the mood of the film.
4. “Bohemian Rhapsody” — Wayne’s World (1992)
This captures the unbridled joy of belting out an epic song that you love. For many, this was their first exposure to “Bohemian Rhapsody,” if not to Queen themselves. This video shows only part of the whole, because we didn’t remember that the film breaks the flow of the song at least twice with scenes where they are not singing. Everybody head bang!
5. “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” — 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Long before he was scaring the pants off audiences as the Joker, Heath Ledger was an up and coming heartthrob in this adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. This is the scene where he has to get his girl (Julia Stiles) to forgive him, and chooses the most vulnerable thing he can think of — singing! The best part is when the band joins him.
6. “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” — Life of Brian (1979)
Marnifer knew this as a single before ever seeing the film, so the reveal of this chipper keep-your-chin-up ditty being sung as they all hang around crucified together was almost too funny to handle. A classic.
7. R & B ending — I Think I Love My Wife (2007)
This is a fairly standard comedy about a husband tempted to cheat on his wife. Some of it was funny, but annoyingly it hit too many of the clichéd marks of this genre. Woah, Louis C.K. co-wrote this with Chris Rock? It should have been way funnier! Anyway, at the end of the film, Chris Rock is making up with his wife, played by Gina Torres. Again, they’re having a fairly standard, if more honest, conversation about their relationship. Suddenly the background music swells to a ridiculous volume, and their dialogue changes shape into the lyrics of a “please forgive me, baby” R & B song. This is a brilliant moment which upgrades the rest of the film. Sorry about the quality of the video; it was the only clip of this scene to be found!
8. “Babysitting Blues” — Adventures in Babysitting (1987)
This is one of Marnifer’s guilty pleasures, a stupid/fun 80s tale of misunderstandings and shenanigans. Elizabeth Shue and her group of babysittees are being pursued through Chicago and duck into a blues club to elude the bad guys. As they try to exit, blues legend Albert Collins tells them, “Nobody leaves this place without singing the blues.” The video only shows about half of the song; full audio here.
9. “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” — My Father the Hero (1994)
This is a weird and kinda uncomfortable film, made during that short period when America was enamored with Gérard Depardieu. By this point in the film, most of the hotel is under the false impression that Depardieu’s teenage daughter is actually his lover. Oblivious to the rumors, here he accidentally confirms the suspicions with the worst possible choice of songs.
10. “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” — Gamer (2009)
So, Marnifer enjoyed this film but Liamfer found it an annoying insult to gamers everywhere. Nonetheless Marnifer thinks you should see this clip. Michael C. Hall is having a great time as a bad guy, and here he taunts Gerard “Spartaaaa!” Butler with an army of dancing mercenaries. It’s surreal, it’s funny, it’s completely unexpected. Enjoy.
11. “Money Success Fame Glamour” — Party Monster (2003)
This film based on real life “club kid” Michael Alig is all about the style, the club scene, the drug abuse and excess that led to murder. It’s worth seeing for an interesting performance by Macaulay Culkin, and a great one by Seth Green. There is quite a bit of music featured as background in the club, but in this scene Alig is essentially handed a microphone and asked to entertain. The result is a fun and supremely catchy satirical anthem.
12. “Day-O” — Beetlejuice (1988)
This scene might just be our favorite of the bunch. If you’ve never seen Beetlejuice — why not? Our ghost protagonists attempt to scare the living from their house by possessing them with the spirit of calypso. The original version of the script called for this be a Motown song, but the rewrite replaced it with the pitch perfect Harry Belafonte tune. This is a tour de force of unforgettable hilarity.
Did we miss any of your favorite moments?