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They can sing! They can dance!

June 12, 2010

When I think about my favorite movie scenes, there’s a pretty wide variety of images from a wide variety of films that come to mind. But I’ve noticed a trend amongst my favorites: I really appreciate when a movie bursts into random song and dance. It’s really entertaining to me! Particularly when a movie isn’t a musical, but for no apparent reason, you get a nice dose of choreography or singing. So, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite song and/or dance moments from some great movies, and I’d love to share them with the world. I didn’t include musicals, which was difficult, but it would have been a much longer list if I had.

WARNING: There are spoilers, but you should read it anyway.

1. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), “Moon River”

This is a special little gem. It won an Academy award in 1961 for Best Original Song. As far as I know, it’s Audrey Hepburn’s only song in a film (Marni Nixon dubbed her voice in My Fair Lady). It was almost cut from the film, but I’m personally very glad that it wasn’t. It’s a gorgeous song, and a lovely moment.
If I had been including musicals, I would have added Audrey’s big dance number from Funny Face. It’s a fun number, and she does it well, since she started dancing well before she became an actress.

2. Little Miss Sunshine (2006), “Superfreak”

This scene is one of the greatest things that ever happened to my life. Everything about it is fabulous, From Miss California totally loving it, to Dad tackling the host, to the whole family dancing, to the biker in the end. It gets me every time. According to the DVD commentary (if you’ve seen the movie a couple of times, you should watch it with the commentary– It’s good), “Superfreak” wasn’t their first song choice, but I think it works well. There’s nothing more I can say to add to it, so you should just watch it over and over.

3. Horton Hears a Who! (2008), “I Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore”

I’m sorry the video quality is horrible. Copyright silliness, I guess! Anyway, this is an example of a song so unexpected, so random, that I pretty much fell out of my chair laughing. I was also by myself, and probably eating chocolate, so that probably had an effect on my reaction as well. The cast consists of hilarious people, so this was bound to happen. Steve Carell, Jim Carrey, Jesse McCartney, Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, Jonah Hill, etc. It’s goofy, but I appreciate it.

4. Pulp Fiction (1994), “You Never Can Tell”

I think I just like this because it’s Uma Thurman and John Travolta, and it’s in Pulp Fiction. The audience needs the relief. I’ve only seen the movie once, so I don’t have a lot to say about it. I would like to mention that Uma Thurman has the best silly dance numbers. “When You’ve Got It, Flaunt It” is my favorite song from The Producers.

5. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), “Knights of the Round Table/Camelot”

‘Tis a silly scene! Though I can’t say it’s unexpected, being Monty Python and all. Who doesn’t love knights who can can-can and tap dance?

6. Ten Things I Hate About You (1999), “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”

A. This song is a favorite of mine.
B. Heath Ledger is adorable.
C. A band whose lines are that awful could never sound that nice, but without them, the scene simply wouldn’t be the same. Thank you, marching band.

7. The Breakfast Club (1985), “We Are Not Alone”

Sorry for another poor quality video. There are way too many people on You Tube who think it’s cool to remake this scene.
The magic of this scene comes from its 80s-ness. If only the 21st century had as many great dance breaks as the 80s had! And who wouldn’t want to dance like these kids in the school library? They actually have good moves! JC Penny did a little nod to the scene in a back-to school ad not long ago. Of course, JC Penny only wishes it were as cool as the Breakfast Club.

8. 30 Rock (2009), “Kidney Now!”

Again, I apologize for a bad video. I highly suggest watching the full episode. I’m sure you can find it somewhere…like Netflix. Also, I’m very much aware of the fact that this is a TV show, not a movie. But it was too good to pass up! This is my favorite season finale ever. Any time you have 30 Rock, a song, internal organs, and about 20 musical guests, the result will have no where to go but to Awesome Town. Clay Aiken, Mary J. Blige, Elvis Costello, Sheryl Crow, Wyclif Jean, Norah Jones, etc. There’s no way to fail! The show generally does a great job using the special guests.

9. Juno (2007), “Anyone Else But You”

In a movie with a uniquely lovely and fun soundtrack, this made for a good ending. It’s sweet. This is one of those movies that if different for me every time I watch it, and I appreciate it now much more than the first time. But the soundtrack has always been a quality I enjoyed.

10. Persepolis (2007), “Eye of the Tiger”

It’s an Iranian girl singing “Eye of the Tiger”. How could it not make the list? Plus, it’s an excellent film. There are so many different cultures that come together throughout. Now, I don’t know what it’s like in Tehran, but I know that here in Florida, getting ready for school can feel like a battle, so the song is perfectly appropriate. Especially when you realize that you haven’t shaved in days. It comes as a surprise sometimes.


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