If you're staying in this weekend, check out these six movies all about music.
It's the weekend. Normally, you'd be out at an event where live music was being played by bands like The Dance Doctors or The Salamanders. But you're stuck at home and you're missing your groove. Well don't worry. Here at DanceBands.com we'll bring the music to you, by recommending some great movies about music that can get your slippered feet tapping on the coffee table. So sit back, hit play on the remote, and prepare to be entertained.
If you like classical music, check out Amadeus.
This Oscar-winning best movie tells the story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart through the eyes of his jealous contemporary, Antonio Salieri. Salieri recognizes the genius in Mozart but out of spite, decides to ruin the young composer, mostly because Salieri feels cheated that no matter how hard he tries, he'll never be as good as Mozart. It's sad and glorious in its exploration of how talent can be wasted and mediocrity often triumphs.
If you're a little bit Country and like a good chick-flick, check out The Thing Called Love.
Most country music stars look the part. But that's one of the interesting things about The Thing Called Love, Miranda Presley (no relation) heads to Nashville to make it as a songwriter but she's the furthest thing from country you'll ever see. She's addicted to black and grey outfits, her hair is usually stuffed under a Yankees cap, and she's snippy. That's how they like 'em in New York but she doesn't fit in too well in Music City, the land of big hair and big hearts. But Miranda loves country music and she's determined to make it.
With a supporting cast that includes an early turn by Sandra Bullock and one of the last performances by River Phoenix, the movie is worth watching just to see these familiar faces in unfamiliar places. The music is catchy and fun. The love story is tried but true. And it's a fun look at the behind-the-scenes of the country music business.
If you like early rock and roll and want a movie for the whole family, turn on That Thing You Do.
Tom Hanks is famous for his acting, but he brings his wholesome and charming personality to this fun family film he wrote and directed. That Thing You Do tells the story of Guy Paterson, a wanna be drummer, who is stuck working at his Dad's appliance store until he's given a big break when a friend breaks his arm. Guy winds up filling in as the drummer for a local band on the verge of producing a big hit. As the hit takes off up the charts, Guy is along for the ride as the newest members of the Oneders (a play on "The Wonders" that nobody really gets and that gets ditched once the band gets professional management.) Guy's enthusiasm and his sheer joy in being able to make music for a living keep this film light and lively.
If you like satire and really want to laugh, turn the volume up to 11 while you watch This Is Spinal Tap.
In the 80's music was all about the metal. In this satirical mockumentary, Rob Reiner exposes all the excesses of the Heavy Metal scene. From the wild hair to the tight pants, the director shows us just how ridiculous the music industry can be. It's seriously funny. Don't believe me, here's a sample.
Marty DiBergi: It's pretty. [Referring to the music Nigel is playing on the piano.]
Nigel Tufnel: Yeah, I like it. I've been fooling around with it for a few months now. Very delicate.
Marty DiBergi: It's a bit of a departure from what you normally play.
Nigel Tufnel: Yeah, well, it's part of a trilogy, a musical trilogy that I'm doing in D... minor, which I always find is really the saddest of all keys, really, I don't know why. It makes people weep instantly to play [plays and sings]
Nigel Tufnel: It's a horn part.
Marty DiBergi: It's very pretty.
Nigel Tufnel: You know, just simple lines intertwining, you know, very much like — I'm really influenced by Mozart and Bach, and it's sort of in between those, really. It's like a Mach piece, really. It's sort of...
Marty DiBergi: What do you call this?
Nigel Tufnel: Well, this piece is called "Lick My Love Pump."
If you like coming of age films and like 70's era rock, then check out Almost Famous.
Almost Famous is a movie about the rock scene of the 1970's told from the point-of-view of a writing prodigy who cons his way onto the tour of an up-and-coming band. William Miller loves rock music (despite his single mother’s concerns that it will rot his brain and corrupt his values). And it’s his love for the music that is the heart of this funny, earnest, and touching film about coming face-to-face with our heroes and discovering just how human they are.
The film is loosely based on the real life experiences of writer/director Cameron Crowe, famous for such movie hits as Say Anything and Jerry McGuire. The same touch of wonder and idealism that is so present in those films pervade this one. You’ll walk away happy and craving a listen to some of the 70's hits featured in the film.
If you just love music and like movies about people who love music, Once is for you.
The musicians in Once both have day jobs. He works in his father's vacuum repair shop. She sells flowers on the street. They meet while he's busking on a corner during his lunch break in downtown Dublin. She strikes up a conversation and soon they're playing music together. The film hints at a romance blossoming between the two as you might expect, but in this way the film defies our expectations. It remains true to life as a sweet story about two people who really just love music, whether it pays off for them or not.
Most musicians won’t ever get played on the radio or land a record contract. That’s probably why most movies about music focus on the fantasy aspect of it as the road to fame and fortune. But that story gets old after a while. Perhaps that’s why Once is such a refreshing look at the world of music. Nobody is getting paid to make music (except in coins tossed into a guitar case); they play because they love to.
What's your favorite movie about music?