by Melissa Henderson
A couple of weeks ago, I was flipping through Netflix and I happened upon a movie called Short Term 12. To the best of my recollections, I could not remember hearing anything about it (it would seem the giant rock I live under keeps me in the dark at times from some pretty awesome movies), so I did a miniscule amount of research before clicking play. I have definitely lucked out a couple times just picking random movies (Spring Breakers, The Dirties and Jug Face immediately come to mind), and Short Term 12 turned out to be pretty freakin' great. There is a point during the movie in which a young man, Marcus (played by Keith Stanfield), is asked to show his recent work. What followed has stuck with me since then, inspiring the topic for this piece. While it was only a short couple of minutes, “So You Know What It's Like” is so well performed that I was completely caught off guard with the unexpectedness of the emotions that overwhelmed me. There's such a fierce passion that comes through that even with rewinding and re-watching the clip several times, my original reaction was not lessened at all.
First up, and I have to admit it still gets me every time, is Zooey Deschanel singing “Baby it's Cold Outside” in Elf. When I first watched the movie, I had no clue she could sing, and holy shit, am I a fan -- so much so that this past Christmas I bought her “She and Him” Christmas Album. It's definitely great, but there's just something about singing along with dumb ole Will Ferrell in that elf costume that can't be beat! HAHA!
Next up, and taking us in a whole new direction, is that music moment when Jack Black meets Kyle Gass for the first time in Tenacious D: Pick of Destiny. I have seen the film about a dozen times and am certain that it is no exaggeration when I say that I have re-watched this two minute clip at least a hundred times.
For me, it's Jack Black doing what he does best while “borrowing” from some of music's greats (Bach, Beethoven and Mozart). This song, “Classico,” literally has me laughing and cheering for more! (What the Hell? I sound like a freaken publicist writing one liners... Which is super lame!! But I'm promoting what I love, so that has to cancel some of the lameness out, right? ...Right?)
I had a couple other “maybe” options to add to the list, one being Anna Kendrick's “Cup Song” in Pitch Perfect, but the movie is a freakin' musical (of sorts) about acapella groups, so there has to be at least one great music moment in there... Therefore, NOT included due to my expectation of some random awesomeness.
This next one is not quite the same as the other examples, but the music moments in it so resonated with me that I had to mention it. This weekend I revisited Disney's Robin Hood (1973), for the first time in over 22 years, and sweet merciful crap was I the only one who didn't get how TERRIFIC the music was in the cartoon back then? Right off the bat, Roger Millar's, “Oo De Lally” had my attention.
My memory of the classic was always that of the story; not once did I ever think of the music being memorable. I must have grown a different set of ears over the past couple decades, as “Not In Nottingham” had me damn near in tears. My revisit of this movie was an eye-opening experience. Not only did I get to fall in love all over again with the cartoon fox Robin Hood of my childhood, but I discovered a new appreciation for an artist I had only ever known for singing “King of the Road.” I am so excited about my newfound old music that I have to YELL ABOUT IT on here!
Who am I kidding... I yell about everything, everywhere.
What are some of your surprise music moments in movies?