Love Week: Singing Bits I Love in Film

With only a few hours left in the day, I’m struggling to get a second post out during my “Love Week” here at All Eyes on Screen. Multiple things have kept me MIA from AEOS lately, so I’m going with the thought, better late than never, right?

So yesterday, I posted about my 10 favorite romantic movies. Tonight I’ll be including a few singing bits I love in various films, which happen to be all over the place. The list isn’t conclusive, but a few favorites I really enjoy.

“Johnny B. Goode” in Back to the Future (1985), sung by Michael J. Fox

When I was thinking about writing this post, Fox’s performance of “Johnny B. Goode” was the first one to pop in my head. Back to the Future is one of my favorite movie trilogies, and this is one of the most memorable scenes. He starts off by announcing that “this song is an oldie . . . um, from where I come from,” suddenly realizing that it’s not considered old in 1955. He kills it on the guitar, and it’s completely entertaining in both the first film and when it’s revisited in the second film.

“I Put a Spell on You” in Hocus Pocus (1993), sung by Bette Midler

Every year around Halloween, I make it a priority to get a viewing of Hocus Pocus in, because it’s a holiday classic. It might be the only film I can handle Sarah Jessica Parker in too (exception: Sex in the City [only the first one!]). This part is exceptionally hilarious, because while the kids are trying to convince their parents that these three witches are, in fact, real witches, Bette Midler decides to work with the line “Put a spell on you,” and turns it into a performance at a Halloween party.

“Grow Old with You” in The Wedding Singer (1998), sung by Adam Sandler

I did include this scene in my last post. However, I had the most difficult time selecting a song I love most from The Wedding Singer. Adam Sandler sings several times throughout the film, but I think “Grow Old with You” is his most heartfelt performance. Other hilarious songs include his rendition of “Love Stinks” after he’s been left at the altar, and “You Spin Me Round” at the opening credits of the film. The ’80s Adam Sandler knows how to sing, and what better way to woo a girl than to start singing to her.

“Can’t Take My Eyes off of You” in 10 Things I Hate about You (1999), sung by Heath Ledger

Speaking of singing for women’s affections, Heath Ledger is fantastic in the little stunt he pulls to win back Julia Stiles in 10 Things I Hate about You. He pays off the marching band to accompany him while he half dances, half runs away from the cops trying to hustle him down. This is a favorite of my favorite singing bits in a movie, partly because Ledger is so charming singing “Can’t Take My Eyes off of You.”

“Only Hope” in A Walk to Remember (2002), sung by Mandy Moore

I used to wonder if Mandy Moore was recruited for A Walk to Remember just to deliver her song “Only Hope” in the film. This is her shining moment in the film, when she surprises everyone, especially Shane West, by stepping out and singing beautifully. She lends her voice to the film’s soundtrack as well.

“The Edge of Night” in The Return of the King (2003), sung by Billy Boyd

I’ve been reading The Fellowship of the Ring, and I noticed something familiar as I was reading a poem in the third chapter titled “A Walking Song”–the lyrics from the song “The Edge of Night” that Billy Boyd sings in The Return of the King matched parts of the last stanza in the poem. Another cool thing I learned from reading about it on its Wikipedia page is that Billy Boyd actually composed the beautiful melody for the song.

“Teacher’s Pet” in School of Rock (2003), sung by Jack Black

After reading this post, I learned that my film friend, Castor of Anomalous Material highly dislikes Jack Black, even in School of Rock. I, however, can’t get enough of Mr. Black, especially in School of Rock. It’s one of my favorite comedies, and I love this end scene where the students rally with Jack Black and perform “Teacher’s Pet” at the Battle of the Bands. The lyrics are well-written and pretty funny, and who better to lead a band of elementary school kids than Jack Black?

“Run and Tell That” in Hairspray (2007), sung by Elijah Kelley

There are multiple songs I would pull from this remake of Hairspray to claim as favorites, but I decided to go with “Run and Tell That” because the choreography is great and the lead singer, Elijah Kelley, is relatively unknown, especially in a film that included so many big names. Kelley’s voice is exposed multiple times on the soundtrack and throughout the film, but his solo “Run and Tell That” really reveals what an incredible voice the singer-actor has. I much prefer to listen to Kelley over Michelle Pfeiffer or Christopher Walken.

“Pop Goes My Heart” in Music and Lyrics (2007), sung by Hugh Grant

Although Music and Lyrics was certainly no hit, it did include some entertaining songs from a fictional 80s band with lead vocalist Hugh Grant. Although Grant certainly doesn’t possess booming pipes, he really pulls off the facade and sound of an 80s leading man fairly well. I had to include “Pop Goes My Heart” over “Way Back into Love” because the music video is hysterical, but well-made.

“Stu’s Song” in The Hangover (2009), sung by Ed Helms

And of course, I couldn’t forget “Stu’s Song” from The Hangover. The great part about the song is that it fit in so well with the rest of the film. The random uncertainty and spontaneity of the movie was its ticket to success, and Ed Helms delivers on all funny levels necessary, especially for a light break from the “drama” of the movie. The neat thing about this song is that the musically-talented actor actually just sat down and starting singing and playing the song, coming up with it on the spur of the moment. The director liked it so much that he put it into the movie.

What songs do you guys love in movies? Do you like any of the same as me? 

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12 thoughts on “Love Week: Singing Bits I Love in Film

  1. Can’t Take My Eyes Off You is AMAZING! I kinda love that film to bits and Heath Ledger singing in that scene was just the best thing. Loved it.

    The Edge of Night always makes my spine tingle. It’s such a sorrowful song and so beautifully sung by Billy Boyd.

    Strangely, struggling to think of any songs myself. I did think of (500) Days of Summer, but that was just a dance from JGL! Will put my thinking hat on.

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    • I know! Same here. Absolutely love that scene, and I love Heath Ledger in the film all around.

      I think it’s so well-edited in that scene, too, going back and forth between Denethor carelessly eating while Faramir rides off to his death, and Pippin sings. It really is beautifully performed.

      I actually wanted to include that video in this post, but I knew I couldn’t since it was dance only and not singing.

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  2. I adore Heath’s voice singing Can’t Take My Eyes Off You! It’s such a great scene, too! Well for me, I like Gerry Butler’s singing in Phantom of the Opera and also his sexy Karaoke scene in P.S. I Love You.

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    • I know! I love that scene. One of my favorite scenes in the movie easily. I thought Gerard Butler was good in POTO, but I wasn’t as big on his singing in it. Prob because I kept comparing him to Michael Crawford in my head! It doesn’t surprise me that he’s done some singing though – I think he has a good voice, although the Phantom’s range is pretty crazy and out there. There’s this worship leader at my church who looks a little like him and he sounds like him, too, when he talks and sings! Love it.

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      • Y’know it’s funny, I used to LOVE Michael Crawford’s singing too (I have most of ALW CDs), but after hearing Gerry’s emotional rendition I just couldn’t listen to anyone else. I know he’s not perfect as he’s not a classically-trained singer and he struggles with some of the higher-pitched notes but it’s the way he performed the song that gets me. He really felt it as I’d imagine the Phantom would… it was full of passion yet sadness at the same time, not to mention the sexy way he seduced Christine in Music of the Night when he sang ‘touch me… feel me…’ woof!! [fan self] and also in The Point of No Return.

        Whoa!!! You have a worship leader at church who looks and sound like Gerry??! Please take a picture of him, please…. 😀 My worship leader at church is pretty cute too, he’s blond though which is usually not my thing, but it’s his voice that is amazing. I LOVE it when people dedicate their talent to the Lord like that. I mean he could’ve easily become a mainstream singer with his looks and talent. Could you send me a link to your church music? Are they available online?

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        • Totally makes sense – there are just some performances that just really hit you! He’s a great actor, I will definitely agree.

          Haha, well this guy’s name is Andi Rozier and he’s originally from the United Kingdom. But for some reason he sounds like he’s a little Scottish almost! The picture listed on the link doesn’t quite do him justice, but there’s definitely a resemblance if you see him in person. Probably more than looks, he sounds like him, because both my sister and I kept thinking it was Gerard Butler up there talking, haha. Yeah, many of them have great vocal talent and choose to use it to lead in the church, which is really cool. Sure! I don’t know if you’ve heard of Harvest Bible Chapel, but I go to one of the locations and I love it. Here’s the link to the Worship Leaders page: http://www.jamesmacdonald.com/abouthsongs/

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          • Awesome, thanks for the link! Andi is pretty cute, I’m sure he looked even better in person. I haven’t heard of Harvest Bible Chapel but sounds like a wonderful, Biblically-based church. I’ve just started going to River Valley Church for the past few months as my previous church is too far from our house. You can listen to some of the music here: http://music.rivervalley.org/

            God bless!

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            • You bet! It definitely is. Thanks for sending me your link too – I would think the same of yours. It’s very cool to meet a movie geek online who also happens to be a Christian. Looking forward to checking out some of RVC’s music! Thanks!!

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    • I know – I thought it was one of the funniest parts of the first movie. I was totally bummed and even a bit annoyed when they had him sing in the second, too, because it completely lacked the randomness of the first movie and felt very scripted.

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  3. ooo really good call on some of these, definitely would have BTTF, 10TIHAY, LOTR and School of Rock on my list. Think I’dd add a song or two from Enchanted, So Ronery from Team America, Bjork’s last song in Dancer in the Dark, and ‘You’re the one that I want’ from Grease off the top of my head! Cool post!

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    • Haha, glad we would have some in common, Pete! I considered Enchanted – I absolutely love James Marsden in that because he really ups the cheesiness at such a comical level, and he has the vocal chops to back it up. I actually almost Summer Lovin’ from Grease – there are so many fun songs in that musical. But with the exception of “Run and Tell That” from Hairspray, I tried to keep it set to non-musical films only. I was actually thinking of adding “Star-Spangled Man” from Captain America.

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