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Best Music Moments of the Big Screen

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There is a slew of past and present movies with memorable musical scenes. Whether it’s Gene Kelly singing in the rain or Chris Farley singing about a fat man in a little coat, movies are filled with the magic of music. Here’s a list of our pick for top five musical moments that made the big screen a little bit bigger. 

Top Gun (1986) – Pre-crazy Tom Cruise and pre-ejector seat mishap Goose, the most famous bar scene in Top Gun portrayed a pilot and his wingman, both in and out of the air. As Maverick and Goose performed "You’ve Lost That Lovin' Feeling" in an attempt to sway Maverick’s crush, the fighter pilots looking on couldn’t help but join in. While this scene made us grateful that neither Tom Cruise nor Anthony Edwards decided to pursue careers as singers, it also cemented both of them in movie music history. Even now, over two decades later, it’s hard to hear "You’ve Lost That Lovin' Feeling" without having a need, a need for speed.

Big (1988) – If ever there was a movie that speaks for the mantra “be careful what you wish for,” it was this one. Big tells us the tale of Josh Baskin, played by Tom Hanks, who wishes to be “big” on a magic carnival machine. He wakes up the next morning to find himself as a 13-year-old boy trapped in a grown man’s body. While this movie had many memorable moments, the most beloved came when Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia played "Heart and Soul" and "Chopsticks" with their feet on a giant FAO Schwarz keyboard. Not only did this scene leave kids everywhere actually wanting to take piano lessons, but it left us falling instantly in love with Tom Hanks.

Say Anything (1989) – John Cusack can be in as many movies as he wants, but to us, he will always be Lloyd Dobler.  An aspiring kick boxer determined to woo high school valedictorian Diane Court, Lloyd is nothing if not adorable. Winning Diane over, he eventually succumbs to heartbreak when she dumps him. But wait, he has a plan: standing outside her bedroom window, Lloyd holds a boom box over his head, playing Peter Gabriel’s "In Your Eyes". Though this scene has been parodied by everyone under the sun, it still remains one of the most romantic of all times. Of course, in this day and age, we don’t call this so much “romantic” as we do “stalking.”

Duets (2000) – A movie that included a well-known singer, Huey Lewis, and several well-known actors, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Paul Giamatti, and Maria Bello, Duets is the story of six lost souls who find each other through karaoke. Though there are several great musical scenes in this movie, the best on has to go to Reggie Kane, played by Andre Braugher. His rendition of "Free Bird" – a rendition that in real life blended the vocals of Andre Braugher with singer Arnold McCuller – was a show stopper. Not only was it moving, heart wrenching, and touching, but it left the audience forgetting that Braugher was acting. 

Little Miss Sunshine (2006) – This movie had it all: laughs, tears, and the really funny boss from NBC’s The Office. In Little Miss Sunshine, we follow a dysfunctional family taking a road trip from New Mexico to California to enter Olive, played by Abigail Breslin, in a beauty contest. The talent portion of Olive’s beauty contest is where the movie gets absolutely hilarious. Choreographed by her grandfather, we watch as Olive performs a striptease-like dance to Rick James' "Super Freak". Not only does the movie show a lot of heart when Olive’s family jumps on stage in her defense, but this dance provides us with an ending that no one ever saw coming; Little Miss Sunshine is like the Sixth Sense of comedies.

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About JM Jordan

  • http://purplefunkydishwasher.blogspot.com/ Robert Leu

    I’ve seen all but one of these scenes, so I can say with some sort of authority that this list is perfect.