I really like going to the dentist, and it's mostly because of Julia Roberts.
Like most kids, between the ages of 8 and 14, I must have been in the dentist's chair once a month. But, I never really minded it. Going to the dentist meant getting out of school early, enjoying happy gas (I always felt like my limbs were being twisted like a balloon animal, but in a good way.) and of course, picking from "the list."
Before every appointment at Dr. Bob's office, the hygienist would give me a laminated list of cassettes to listen to while I was under nitrous. And being a total dork, I picked the exact same tape every single time . . . the Pretty Woman soundtrack. Looking back, I think that having the picture of Julia's gaping wide pearly white smile was somehow comforting, and inspiring for a girl in the dentist's chair. But, mostly the soundtrack was just kind of happy. The track list includes David Bowie, Roxette and Peter Cetera! For me, a great soundtrack takes on the film's theme and spirit, and the Pretty Woman soundtrack is like a big toothy grin. It's awesome.
But, Pretty Woman doesn't make my list of the top 5 soundtracks of all time:
1. Reality Bites - One of my absolute favorite movies and my favorite soundtrack! Turn it up, you won't be sorry. The movie is a great depiction of the pop culture influence on Gen X, and their reluctance to enter adulthood. To get that same feel, the soundtrack mixes late 70s/early 80s hits like Tempted and My Sharona, quirky artists like Julianna Hatfield and hits like U2's All I Want is You. But, of course, we remember the huge hit Stay from the very quirky bespectacled Lisa Loeb. Oh, Gen X! Your soundtrack rocks. I wish every soundtrack were this good, and that Ben Stiller still made great movies.
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2. Footloose - Holy God do I love this soundtrack. Now, this movie is pretty ridiculous, and you know what? So, is the music. Almost Paradise and Holding out for a Hero could easily be the most cheesy melodramatic songs ever written. But somehow, we love that Footloose is cheesy, and by the end of the movie, we feel as exuberant as the title track sounds. But my personal fave is the use of Let's Hear it for the Boy in the best dance scene ever filmed, thanks to the late great Chris Penn. I WILL sing that song in a karaoke bar someday, it's a dream of mine.
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3. Juno - It's a gimme. I mean, The B Side and I actually agree on this one! I can't imagine everyone's favorite teenage pregnancy romp set to anything else but this. Every song choice used in the movie is perfect, and the soundtrack stands on its own as totally listenable - even that weird vampire song! Cat Power's Sea of Love makes me teary eyed every time, and the driving opener, All I Want is You, sets the tone for the whole movie.
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4. (500) Days of Summer - Any soundtrack that features Hall and Oates AND Simon and Garfunkel HAS to make every best soundtracks list. Much like the Reality Bites soundtrack, the mix of classic songs with modern indie gems fit perfectly with the film's tone. I can listen to this soundtrack over and over, and not get tired of it. It's just lovely. Plus, Regina Spektor is my personal hero, and I've loved The Smiths' Please, Please Please Let Me Get What I Want pretty much forever. Don't just watch the clip for this one, go watch the whole movie!
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5. Pulp Fiction - Iconic music for an iconic movie. I honestly don't think Pulp Fiction would have been as successful without the use of C'est la vie and Girl, You'll be a Woman Soon. But, what I really love about the soundtrack are those great instrumental surfer tracks. For a movie that exists solely to be cool, the soundtrack is a perfect match. I always catch myself doing the cool guy nod when listening to it.
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Honorable mentions go to Garden State, Romeo and Juliet and Jackie Brown - love those Delfonics. I probably have more movie soundtracks than actual albums, so this was really tough for me.
So Heidi caught me a bit off guard again and this was totally off the top of my head - but here are The B Side's Top 5 Movie Soundtracks:
PS...big time props to American Beauty, Menace II Society and Pulp Fiction. I love those too!
5 - Batman Forever. The movie is a little underrated to me, but it's still not good. What is good is the soundtrack. U2's Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me was huge. Smash It Up by Offspring is simply an awesome song. And who didn't love Seal's Kiss From A Rose back in the day? Heck - still today! Toss in some Method Man and you've got a soundtrack.
4 - Requiem For A Dream. It isn't so much a soundtrack as it is a score. But quite frankly, this is one of my favorite movies ever. And the soundtrack matches perfectly to the darkness of the film. I have many of the samples on my iPod and I listen to them often.
3 - Forrest Gump. Just look at this soundtrack. Seriously. Some of the greatest classic rock ever. Great movie, and the sounds mingled in with the times.
2 - Juno. I know most of it was done by one artist, but it's great. Mott The Hoople was a great sprinkle add and Sonic Youth covering the Carpenters blew my f'ing mind. Thank you Jason Bateman!
1 - Dark Knight. Duh. I didn't appreciate this nearly enough the first time around. I can crank this movie with the surround sound on and it blows my mind. If you really pay attention to the backgrounds especially when the Joker is about to do something crazy - it just fits. The music made the movie a 5+ star film.
Don't forget to tell us what we forgot, and share your lists!