Guest Blogger: '(500) Days' Co-Writer Scott Neustadter's Five Favorite Movie Montages
Editor's note: Screenwriter Scott Neustadter struck gold in 2009 with his script for (500) Days of Summer, which he co-wrote with Michael H. Weber. The film, shot in downtown Los Angeles, stars Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt; viewers watch the rise and fall of the pair's relationship through a series of flashbacks. As in most relationships, music plays a vital role in the narrative. West Coast Sound is happy to have Neustadter sitting in the blogging chair for the week. He'll be offering thoughts on the interaction between music and film. On Monday, he listed his five favorite music/film moments. Read them here. Yesterday he waxed poetic on Jonathan Demme's concert film starring Talking Heads, Stop Making Sense.
And now for some serious business...
My 5 Favorite Movie Montages (Non-training Edition)
5. The Naked Gun - "I'm Into Something Good
by Herman's Hermits
"Skeet Surfing" from Top Secret set the bar pretty high but somehow the Zucker/Abrahams crew manage to top it with this hilarious date montage. Frank and Jane run on the beach, clothesline another couple, fight each other with condiments, and enjoy Platoon improperly, all to the sweet, cheery voice of Peter Noone. Brilliant idea, perfectly executed, and a reminder of how great these filmmakers were in their prime.
4. The Breakfast Club - We Are Not Alone by Karla DeVito [click here for YouTube clip.]
John Hughes not only had great taste, the man perennially knew how to use it. "Twist and Shout" and the "Please Please Please" instrumental in Ferris, "This Woman's Work" in She's Having a Baby, "If You Leave" in Pretty in Pink, the list goes on and on. That said, this Karla DeVito song was an odd choice. It's hard to believe that a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal would all want to rock out to it (I'll buy Estevez but I'm not buying Nelson). And yet,
somehow, it works. Why? One reason -- the shoes.
3. Teen Wolf - "Win In the End" by Mark Safan
You know what's even less believable than a teenage werewolf being good at basketball? Michael J. Fox being good at basketball. Now I loves me some Michael J. Fox but that is not a tall man (partially why I loves him) and it seems like he would be very easy to guard. I'm just saying. Nevertheless, it's hard not to get caught up in the drama and much of that credit goes to Mark Safan's inspiring classic. Note: if you don't want to know what happens in the end, don't listen to the lyrics. (Editor's note: YouTube only had the German version of this montage, but we're confident you can still follow along.)
2. Mannequin - "Do You Dream About Me" by Alisha
There are times as an artist where you create something so remarkable that you just can't help but fall in love with it. Sometimes that something is a mannequin. Almost never does that mannequin come alive and fall in love back. But it happens. And when it does, you need to celebrate it. What better way than to run around the department store, with a fake moustache, trying on every damn outfit in the place? It's all fun and games until Hollywood shows up and spoils the party. Oh 1980s, how I love thee.
1. Breakin' - "Ain't Nobody" by Chaka Khan
In which aspiring Broadway star/ uber-white girl Kelly learns to breakdance in under 4 minutes. If you're like me (or like Turbo), you didn't think it was possible. But boy is Ozone up to the challenge. Not only does he teach her the moves, he winds up showing her a thing or two about ballroom dancing as well. I don't know when they had those T-shirts with their names on it made but I don't care. I am into this. While the unintentional hilarity quotient is very high, what really makes this montage my favorite is the way in which it does the impossible -- it actually makes breakdancing look uncool. That is hard to do.
What are some of your favorites?