Music is a powerful function of movies, and can sometimes make or break the perception that people walk away with. In part one of a two part series, we’ll be visiting musical movie scenes that derailed the film. I can’t do this by myself, so I’m bringing in theater professional and serial tweeter Shinavonne to help me pick apart the worst that cinema has to offer. (Warning: CAPS LOCK alert.) We’ll each bring 3 clips to the table and debate accordingly. Come back later this week as we nominate our favorite clips of all time.
Sloppy: Here is my first entry into the musical movie scenes that I have deemed to be horrible. May I present “Bennie and the Jets” from the movie “27 Dresses.”
Shinavonne: OH GOD. I saw this movie. On DVD. I have a weakness for terrible romantic comedies.
Sloppy: I seriously don’t have it in me to believe that Katherine Heigl would ever cut loose enough to dance on an actual bar and slaughter the words to this song. She comes off as such a harpy in real life.
Shinavonne: I don’t hate her like everyone else does. I mean, I don’t LIKE her, but there’s a visceral hate for her that I just do not get. How is she any worse than all the other terrible actresses in rom-coms? But you’re right – she looks really fucking awkward trying to cut loose on that bar. AWKWARD WHITE GIRL DANCE ALERT.
Sloppy: I think it’s the fact that I know so much about how evil she can be behind the scenes. I bet Elton John is glad to be the second biggest bitch associated with this song.
Shinavonne: NO. Elton John is definitely a bigger bitch, but in the best way possible. The Bitch is Back? Fuck that, the bitch never left. Elton John is queen bitch. Also, can we talk about how they’re the worst drunk actors ever?
Sloppy: Yeah, not great. Although James Mardsen = Likeable.
Shinavonne: So likeable. I’d like to rub myself on him like a cat in heat. And I want to talk about one other thing: the fact that movies always do that thing where all the patrons in a bar or restaurant immediately LOVE that obnoxious people are breaking into song (or in this case, singing along to the jukebox). NO ONE DOES THAT. We’d all fucking hate you for your stupid loud singing. YOU ARE RUINING MY DISCUSSION ABOUT… I dunno, sex, probably.
Sloppy: All that was missing was the predispositioned choreography, a la “She’s All That”
Shinavonne: Okay, I’m gonna start with my only non-contentious “worst” choice. It’s “I Love Rock and Roll” from the movie “Crossroads,” the “famous” Britney Spears movie from 2002.
Sloppy: Oh, Brit Brit. I would like my dime refunded, please.
Shinavonne: Some background… It’s an AWFUL MOVIE. More awful than you think it would be. It doesn’t even have the redeeming quality of being shitty enough to laugh at. I mean, you can DEFINITELY laugh at it, but the laughter starts to just get futile and depressing at some point. OMG, just look at this line from Wikipedia: “While children, they bury a ‘wish box’ in the ground, and vow to dig it up on the night of their high school graduation, also pledging to stay best friends forever.” HA HA HA HA WISH BOX. BEST FRIENDS FOREVER. Go read the whole synopsis if you want to see how batshit it is (rape, following your dreams to LA, mysterious man who was in jail but is somehow trustworthy enough to go on the road with teenage girls, parents abandoning their children willy-nilly, unwanted pregnancy, etc.)
Sloppy: I’ve actually sat through it. I would have done anything for pre-crazy Brittany, even consumed this bullshit. Being 21 and hoping for a nude scene is a sad way to end a drunken night, but I do remember that night perfectly.
Shinavonne: Then you don’t need my backstory! Holy shit, I can’t believe you’ve watched the movie. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?
Sloppy: I’m sure the readers could benefit from the backstory. Not only did I watch it, I do believe if memory serves me, I rented it ON VHS. But that’s no excuse. This wouldn’t have passed for good karaoke at our local bowling alley.
Shinavonne: My favorite part is the beginning, when they have Britney sing timidly, like she’s all, “Y’all, I dunno ’bout no singin’. I’m just a small town girl…do they have a song about that?” And then she starts “feeling” the song, except she only sounds louder, not better.
Sloppy: Speaking of louder but not better, that’s a great transition to this little ditty. Pierce Brosnan absolutely slaughtering a perfectly good ABBA song. “S.O.S.” from the movie adaptation of “Mamma Mia.”
Shinavonne: WHAT YOU TOLD ME NO MUSICALS AND NOW YOU’RE THROWING A MUSICAL AT ME YOU BASTARD
Sloppy: Does this count as a musical? Maybe it does? I don’t know…
Shinavonne: Dude. It’s based on a Broadway musical. THE WHOLE DAMN THING IS A MUSICAL. You do not know about musicals. My theatre background is better than yours! But I haven’t seen this movie, and… OH GOD WHAT IS PIERCE BROSNAN DOING WITH HIS VOICE THAT’S NOT SINGING WHAT IS IT MAKE IT STOP!
Sloppy: The top comment on YouTube says he “sounds like a water buffalo.” I don’t think I can come up with a better analogy.
Shinavonne: Aw, Meryl singing… it’s like comparing apples to a piece of rotted fruit I left on a windowsill that is now covered in flies who are murdering each other for fun. So Pierce Brosnan learned his singing from putting Nickelback, Creed, and Michael McDonald’s polyp in a blender? WHAT. IS. THAT.
Sloppy: The movie, and all the cast, are phenomenal except for Pierce. 007? More like Double Oh My God PLEASE MAKE IT STOP.
Shinavonne: Okay, so everything I’ve seen from that movie seems to involve hanging laundry. Is that a thing? Is the movie about Meryl Streep choosing between 3 suitors and also being a laundress? The FUCK is up all with all the laundry?
Shinavonne: Oh wait. Maybe it’s not laundry. They’re just always hanging… things. SO MUCH HANGING.
Sloppy: She owns a Tuscan resort or some shit where they don’t have dryers. Yet she is in full hobo mode the entire thing. But other than this scene, very enjoyable. Amanda Seyfried in bikinis, whatup girl?
Shinavonne: “Very enjoyable.” So, at this point, you’ve shown that you have seen 27 Dresses, Crossroads, and Mamma Mia. I’m now convinced that you are a lesbian, because there’s no way you have male genitalia.
Shinavonne: Alright, here’s my next one: Hall and Oates “You Make My Dreams” from the movie “500 Days of Summer.” SO TWEE. SO HIPSTER. SO AWFUL.
Sloppy: Ohhh motherfucker we’re gonna fight.
Shinavonne: JGL is adorbs, and the only redeeming quality of whatever the hell is going on. It just seems like everyone in their 20s and 30s LOVES Hall and Oates and this is such an obvious attempt to capitalize on whatever that love is about, ironic or not.
Sloppy: Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel are my two favorite people in the entire world. I love every single thing they do and would gladly marry either or both of them.
Shinavonne: Oh no. Oh no. Oh no. This is not going to end well.
Look, I’m not trying to be THAT guy. (Or girl, or whatever.) I know it’s the cool thing to hate this movie now, and I don’t HATE it, but this scene is the perfect example of why you SHOULD hate it. Like, just tell your fucking story, dude. Quit putting all these affectations on it, because you’re not Quentin Tarantino, you’re just some dude who got burned by a chick and wrote a movie about it.
Sloppy: I know it doesn’t quite fit, but the rest of the movie is so redeeming, I can’t hate on a minute of it. I almost picked the scene were JGL is singing The Pixies “Here Comes Your Man” as one of my top 3, however it’s more background in that scene.
Shinavonne: The karaoke stuff works in the movie. But this scene… UGH, this scene. I liked the movie the first time I saw it, but even then this scene was too much for me. No thank you. The whole movie just bothers me on a feminist level upon multiple viewings. But we’ll leave my hairy-legged soapbox out of this.
Sloppy: Whatevs. By the way, people that don’t love Hall and Oates can go straight to hell.
Shinavonne: I love Hall and Oates! But also, I REMEMBER Hall and Oates. Yes, I was young, but all these assholes who are TODDLERBABYINFANTCHILDREN who love Hall and Oates ironically make me want to punch my fist through a window.
Sloppy: Good music transcends generations. I hope my children grow to love H&O, whenever they come along.
Shinavonne: Fair enough. I just don’t appreciate the ironic love. You like it or you don’t. Not to say this movie is being ironic with it… but it comes off a bit… I dunno, something.
Sloppy: I can’t go on with you anymore. So we’ll transition. Staying on track of me being a big gay, here is the perfectly likeable movie, “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” with a dreadful, ill-fitting musical number, “I Say a Little Prayer.”
Shinavonne: OH YES. This nearly made my bottom 3. Good choice.
Sloppy: Dude that played Eddie Harris in “Major League” is in it. I’ve never seen him in anything but sports movies, and I’d like to keep it that way. And good god, Cameron Diaz has always had Joker Face.
Shinavonne: Cameron Diaz is going to come up again later, and you’re going to be really upset about it. But you’re right, and it’s all in her mouth. She and Julia should have a mouth-off.
Sloppy: Yeah, on my dick. Wait, no. Never mind.
Shinavonne: Truth time: I was in a community choir when I was younger, and we sang a medley of songs from “My Best Friend’s Wedding.”
Sloppy: Awesome. If you upload video, that may take over a place in my bottom 3.
Shinavonne: I don’t have video! OH GOD NO WAIT, I DO. But it’s on VHS. You’ll never catch me, sucka! Anyway, YES, by god, is that scene fucking annoying. I HATE that Rupert Everett starts it in a way that actually seems… well, as reasonable as singing in a restaurant can be, and then the mom pipes in all OPERA VOICE and shit. Unacceptable.
Sloppy: These spontaneous scenes where everyone knows lyrics to a song are just weird unless the rest of the movie is that quirky. I have said many little prayers that this scene would have never happened. It would have been a somewhat enjoyable movie without it.
Shinavonne: Agreed. That’s a fairly solid rom-com without that scene. ALSO CAN WE TALK ABOUT RACHEL GRIFFITHS PLEASE? I only like seeing her being fucked by Peter Krause, and in no other context.
Sloppy: I think I’m missing your pop culture reference.
Shinavonne: Aw fuck. Six Feet Under.
Sloppy: Never watched it. Sorry. But since this conversation has taken a turn away from the monstrosity up above, it may be a good time to move on.
Shinavonne: Great. Now, I’m really worried about my next pick, after the fight you gave from my last choice. “Top Gun” brings us “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.”
Sloppy: *Sigh* I have imagined doing this to every girlfriend I’ve had since 6th grade. I can’t believe anyone with a heart could hate this.
Shinavonne: I knew it! AND WHY CAN’T THEY FIGURE OUT A FUCKING RHYTHM AT THE BEGINNING?!?! It’s awful. You know who loves this? Dudes. But if you did this shit to a woman in a bar, she’d walk the fuck out.
Sloppy: Because they’re actually GOOD at pretending to be drunk! And I have it on good authority at least one of my former flames would cream in their pants over a public display like this…in a good way.
Shinavonne: Okay, fine. I’ll accept that. But then everyone comes in and it’s all “OH WE CAN ALL SING ON KEY TOGETHER LIKE FUCKING PROS” or something. And I don’t know who your former flame was, but I am judging her heavily.
Sloppy: Um, she was an attention whore Hooters waitress…so yeah, point taken.
Shinavonne: I don’t want a bunch of drunk dudes yell-singing The Righteous Brothers in my face. I want them to buy me drinks and shut the fuck up. I WILL say that I do appreciate this scene in that it feels natural, unlike our other choices. Like, they do seem like they suddenly decided to sing this song like crazy dudes at some random lady. I respect that.
Sloppy: You respect Tom Cruise? Goddamn your hidden Scientology propaganda.
Shinavonne: DON’T TWIST MY WORDS. AT LEAST I HAD VARIED CHOICES. ALL OF YOURS WERE FROM LADY MOVIES BECAUSE YOU ARE A LADYBOY WHO LIKES LADY THINGS.
I’m sorry. That was rude. I take it back.
Sloppy: No, that was pretty spot on. I even defended your lady movies. Except for Crossroads. That movie was an abortion.
Shinavonne: They didn’t need an abortion in that movie because that lady just lost her baby from the stress of being raped by that other lady’s fiance! Dude. I’m sad that I remember that. I think I’m worse than you are.
Sloppy: Yeah, yeah you are. I can’t wait to see the spats we’ll have over the “favorites” portion of this post!
Check back later this week as we break down our 3 favorite clips of all time. Thoughts? Want to nominate your own choice? Leave them in the comments below.