Some Kind of Wonderful :: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1987)
A Little History:
Some Kind of Wonderful is a 1987 American romance film starring Eric Stoltz, Mary Stuart Masterson, and Lea Thompson. It is one of the several successful teen dramas written by John Hughes in the 1980’s, although this one was directed by Howard Deutch.
As with most of John Hughes’ penned stories about adolescence, Some Kind of Wonderful is a story set against the social hierarchy of an American public high school. Watts, the “tomboy” drummer, and Keith, the “misfit” artist, are best friends. Unbeknownst to Keith (at least consciously), Watts carries a pretty significant torch for him. Keith, on the other hand, is drawn to the “out of his league” (but not his zip code), Amanda Jones, who has a rich, asshole boyfriend and rich, asshole friends.
Keith manages a date with Amanda when he catches her at an emotionally vulnerable, and subsequently rash moment. Watts agrees to help. See where this may be headed?
Though the story may have its predictable elements, the characters are richly written, and not typical. Oh, and the music is anything but predictable, unless one means “predicatably awesome” in the way that all John Hughes teen movie soundtracks were/are.
The soundtrack for this movie had a large number of unknown artists for the day, which certainly wasn’t the norm for a John Hughes production at that time (so even less predictable than his previous work).
The soundtrack fit perfectly into ever moment and scene in the film, from the attention grabbing opening track, to the night club scene, to the kissing lesson scene/first kiss scene, to the climatic party moments, and finally, the unusually beautiful cover of I Can’t Help Falling In Love during the closing credits, every song appears to have been chosen with meticulous precision.
What Makes This “Quintessential” to me?
I have a weakness for John Hughes films, and their accompanying soundtracks. Two of the soundtracks from those films definitely make it on my favorite albums list, Pretty in Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful. I still have my well-worn cassette and vinyl album of this movie, well-loved and played so often, each song a favorite, each song a sing-a-long moment. I love the memories that are attached to the songs, as well. Memories of one of my life-long, best friends, memories of friendship turned to love, of being in love with your best friend and memories of first kisses, first heartbreaks, and those moments of first falling in love.
This movie itself is all about Watts to me. I love her character, her complexity, her strength, her vulnerability, her flaws, and her style. I do wish, though, that there was more to her character’s motivation beyond Keith (or at least a sequel of what she did next – maybe her stint in an all-girl punk band).
The music on this soundtrack though? I love it more than I ever loved the film, and the film is in my all-time long list of favorites. It is such a snapshot of that time in my life, the late 80’s, the eclectic music that filled my days and nights.
My Top 5 Favorite Songs:
1. She Loves Me :: Stephen Duffy
“The minutes that we missed,
the idle lips that should’ve kissed,
are now gently together;
the first kiss lasts forever.”
2. I Go Crazy :: Flesh For Lulu
“This city’s mad in the head and sick in the soul,
all the stars flew away a long time ago.”
3. Brilliant Mind :: Furniture
“I’m at the stage,
where everything I thought meant something,
seems so unappealing.
I’m ready for the real thing,
but nobody’s selling;
except you and yours,
saying open up your eyes and ears,
and let me in.”
4. Amanda Jones :: The March Violets
“Round and round she goes,
the world of Amanda Jones.”
5. Can’t Help Falling In Love :: Lick The Tins
“Take my hand,
take my whole life too,
’cause I can’t help falling in love with you.”