I’ll admit it, I did musical theater through high school and am a total geek when it comes to movie musicals. When you’re watching a musical-turned-movie like Rent or Chicago, you’re expecting song after song, but what about when music pops up and a rousing sing-along begins in comedies or dramas? Here’s my (somewhat biased) list of the best sing-along scenes in movies. There’s a lesson in the list, too, readers: sing-alongs solve problems and are a great way to enjoy the company of friends…but we already knew that, right?
5. My Best Friend’s Wedding – “I Say A Little Prayer For You”
Right when Julianne thinks she’s hoodwinked everyone with a fake fiance, her accomplice George breaks into song mid-story about his imaginary proposal and really rattles her cage. I’m not sure what is more unrealistically wonderful: the waiter who hops on the piano and knows how to play this oldie hit or the restaurant allowing this huge bridal party to burst into song. Either way, it’s a sing-along everyone loves.
4. Wayne’s World – “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” may be one of the most well-known rock songs of all time, but there’s something incredibly fresh and entertaining about watching Wayne and Garth head bang to the powerful guitar solo mid-song while cruising around the city. Maybe it’s because it’s a memorable opening to an SNL sketch-inspired movie or perhaps it’s because we’ve all rocked out to this song in our cars (see David’s list of Top 5 Bands to Listen to in the Car for further confirmation), but it also definitely deserves a spot in my Top Five.
3. Remember the Titans – “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”
Were you expecting a locker room sing-along to underscore the breaking down of racial barriers, the confrontation of homophobia, and the renewal of the Titans’ team spirit? Me neither. But it works, since what breaks tension like one of the best songs for a feel good movie? Also, check out fresh-faced Ryan Gosling in this one.
2. Almost Famous – “Tiny Dancer”
After a blow-out fight among members of the fictional band Stillwater, this Elton John classic comes on the radio of the tour bus and everyone forgives lead singer Russell and his ego. Side note: this also ranks in my Top Five Underrated Movies. Writer and director Cameron Crowe created this semi-autobiographical film about his time as a teenage writer for Rolling Stone, and it’s pretty accurate on how us writers feel around bands we look up to and respect!
1. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – “Twist And Shout”
That hair. That smile. That leopard print vest. Ferris Bueller’s antics during this cutting class classic culminate with a parade sing-along that encompasses blocks of Chicago and included 10,000 background actors. Chalk that up to the biggest and best movie sing-along. Ferris Bueller became an idol for kids everywhere, proving that sometimes life moves pretty fast and if you don’t stop and look around (and take command of the Von Steuben Day parade) once in a while, you could miss it.
Runnerup: From Justin To Kelly
Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini’s blockbuster hit was so packed full of incredible songs, I couldn’t choose just one. I’m totally kidding, I just wanted to remind everyone this happened. The duo was contractually obliged to participate in this movie because of their American Idol commitment, so we’ll let bygones be bygones. Enjoy!