Friday, October 23, 2009

Enthralling Movie Musical Numbers

Blah Blah Blah blog absence. Blah blah blah sorry about that. Blah blah blah, who cares, right? Moving on.

I read several handfuls of movie blogs a day. One of my favorites is Lara and the Reel Boy. Okay, so it might have SOMETHING to do with the fact that it’s written by two very dear friends, but they have some seriously quality reviews, retrospectives, and most importantly: lists.

Lara and David have some amazing ideas for Top 5 lists, like favorite “the child sending a favorite pet away scene,” or the top 5 barfing scenes. Random categories, but I love it. Recently they posted a list that I can’t help but chime in on: “Top 5 Most Enthralling Movie Musical Numbers.” Why yes, this does have my name written all over it, doesn't it?

Now this list does come with some slightly infuriating stipulations, but I wanted to play along the right way, so I am bumping a few of my favorites for the sake of staying within the bounds LatRB have set. They are:

"1. No Disney movies.
2. No musical performances by a band (i.e. Stillwater in Almost Famous).
3. No live action Disney Movies, which, apparently, goes hand-in-hand with no Disney movies. I hadn’t realized this until late in the process (Newsies, noooo!!!)
4. No putting on the stereo and singing/dancing scenes. Nothing that could be found in real life.
5. No animated movies.
6. No singing only, slow musical songs. Only songs with choreography invited."

Yeah. Big time stipulations. But I think I’ve figured it out, so without further ado…

Val’s List:

5. “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” from Hairspray.

This movie is just so joyful, and the ending culminates in a song that is so bursting with energy and happiness, I can’t help but smile! This epitomizes a lot of the reasons why I love musicals, chief among them the emotions that these characters can’t express outside of singing and dancing. “You Can’t Stop the Beat” is perhaps one of the most singalongable songs in the history of musicals.

4. “Cell Block Tango,” from Chicago.

I fell in love with this movie when it came out during my sophomore year in college. I mean, in love in love. My roommates and I couldn’t seem to do anything but talk about Chicago, unless of course we were singing the songs from it. We couldn’t go anywhere in the car without listening to the soundtrack, particularly “The Cell Block Tango.” We each had certain characters that we’d do the verses for, and those were always OUR characters. In fact, we loved this song so much, we sang made up an outgoing answering machine message song using the chorus (“We are not coming! We are not coming! We are not answering the phone! So try back later! Or leave a message! And we will call you when we get home!”) This song is powerful, cinematic, and completely hilarious.
*Sidenote: Julie and I always used to get the Ukrainian girl’s phrase, “a rendorsegen megmagyarazni,” stuck in our heads. And sometimes we’d confuse it with Elfish. Yeah, we used to be really cool.

3. “You Make My Dreams Come True,” from (500) Days of Summer

This is most definitely one of the best scenes in any movie ever. It perfectly accentuates how Tom is feeling in this moment in a way that makes you believe his excitement is liable to jump off the screen at any second. I can completely relate to this feeling that you just absolutely need a soundtrack to dance to and a marching bird and a little bluebird to flutter around because you are just feeling TOO MUCH. Absolutely incredible.

2. “Singin’ in the Rain,” from…well, you know

When I first wrote this list out, I gave the number two slot to “something from Singin’ in the Rain.” Because ALL of those songs are “enthralling movie musical numbers!” (Well, maybe not “Beautiful Girl”....) And I knew I’d pick one of those songs to go here, so I left it at that; something to think about later. Yet here I am, still debating, because I just can’t pick! I love this movie so dearly, and picking a favorite number is sheer torture for me. I actually narrowed it down to “Moses Supposes,” “All I Do,” “Make ‘Em Laugh,” “Good Morning,” and the title song. Which is not really a narrowed list much at all. So here I am, down to the (self-imposed) wire, having to pick one. And in the end, I just can’t pick anything but “Singin’ in the Rain” itself, for its exuberance, Gene Kelly’s mastery of dance, and for its representation of this film as a whole.

1. “Your Song,” Moulin Rouge!

And now we come to one of my most beloved movie moments in the history of film. I can’t even begin to describe to you the chills I get when Ewan Mcgregor opens his mouth and begins his mind-blowing serenade to Satine. I mean really-- his voice lights up Paris! And when he gets to the words "You see I've forgotten if they're GREE-EEN or they're blue!" Swoon.

Every single moment of this number is exquisite and breath-taking. From the song to the dancing to the clouds to the red umbrella to the moon to the glitter to the twinkle lights to the Eiffel Tower, it’s just…perfect.


So what's on your list?


Anonymous said...

I thoroughly enjoyed all of your selections! Thanks so much for the entertainment! -m

Lara said...

Phew! I'm so glad to finally read your Top Musical List. I've been waiting on the tips of my toes! I love your list and give my full approval. Even of Cell Block Tango, because it is what makes Chicago watchable.

I think you already know my list, though...

Anonymous said...

Oh, so fun! And I can't hear Cell Block Tango without remembering the Oxford 2004 talent show. Mandy and Jacque and Amber and Julie, etc., were brilliant.

And Singin' in the Rain...Swoon. I loooove it. I think "Make 'Em Laugh" would probably make my list. Along with something from "White Christmas" - maybe "The Best Things Happen While You Dance."

~lady j said...

my heart is bursting with love right now.

i would've picked "Moses" instead of "Singin"... but they're both so amazing. I mean, i'm really SO happy right now :)

i forget how much Moulin Rouge and Ewan McGregor made me fall in love with "Your Song". because while we were in Mexico, a clip came on tv of Elton John singing it and I almost started crying. :)

and i'm sad that "That's How You Know You Love Her" from Enchanted can't be on there... because holy cow, I freaking love that song. :)

i might make a list. when i have a minute :)

Anonymous said...

What about touchstone studios movie musicals? Who Framed Roger Rabbit had the merry go round breakdown eddie used against the toon patrol.