Drinking Buddies was written and directed by Joe Swanberg, and was released in 2013. It stars Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, and Ron Livingston, and centers around two co-workers at a craft brewery in Chicago. The movie delves into the complexities of love and friendship, and the complications that can arise in both.
The movie premiered at the 2013 South by Southwest Film Festival. It also screened at the Maryland Film Festival that same year. (from Wikipedia)
Drinking Buddies (2013)
Written and Directed by Joe Swanberg
Movie of the Day
“That’s the problem with heartbreak, to you it’s like an atomic bomb and to the world it’s just really cliche, because in the end we all have the same experience.” – Kate
My best friend told me about this movie, recommending I see it, and she has never steered me toward a movie I didn’t end up loving. Drinking Buddies was no exception.
Seriously, if she tells you to watch a movie be prepared to add it to your “favorite movie” list immediately.
My first watch of this film hit me hard on so many levels, and in a very personal way. It is a very honest look at relationships and friendships, but also it is about finding yourself and knowing yourself, and understanding where you belong. Those are hard “knowings and understandings” to get to in life. Perhaps the hardest things we will ever do (if we choose to, at all).
There are no easy answers in the film (or in life, really). There is no actual closure, or any “everything is tied up” at the end. To be honest, I am okay with that because that’s how life is, and it makes the film even more relatable and real.
Even if sometimes I’d like it to be easy, that I’d like closure everywhere it’s needed, and want everything tied up in a pretty bow at the end (and in the middle, too), I know that isn’t reality and its comforting to have that kind of discomfort in this film. It ultimately makes me feel less alone, I think.
m rewatching the movie today and am curious how it will affect me this time around.
The cast in Drinking Buddies is incredible, and are some of my favorites – especially Olivia Wilde and Jack Johnson. I wish there were more films with both of them, especially more films of the real life/indie variety like Drinking Buddies.
Side note: Drinking Buddies is available to stream, and on DVD, through Netflix. It is also available to rent on Amazon and YouTube.
Kodachrome is a Netflix Original Movie which was released in 2017. The Film stars Ed Harris, Elizabeth Olsen, and Jason Sudeikis. The story is set during the final days of a well-renowned and admired photo development system known as “Kodachrome”. A father and son hit the road in order to reach the Kansas photo lab before it closes its doors for good in order to develop rolls of Kodachrome film that the father, Ben (Ed Harris) has in his possession.
The key here is that father and son are deeply estranged, and the father, a well-renowned and admired photographer, is dying of Cancer. Time is running out on all counts, for Kodachrome, for the father/photographer’s life, and for forgiveness.
Written by Jonathan Tropper (Screenplay)
Based on an article by A.G. Sulzberger
Directed by Mark Raso
Movie of the Day
“No matter how good something looks, you can’t beat the real thing.” – Ben
I’ve been itching for a road trip something fierce lately, so revisiting a recent favorite road trip movie seems in order.
I love road trip movies. They are one of my favorite genres (or sub-genres) of film. I was discussing the appeal of road trip stories in movies and I came up with one of the main reasons I love them so. A typical movie is only an hour and a half to two hours in length, which is not a lot of time for real character development. But, put your characters in a car, somewhat isolated from anyone else sans a roadside gas station attendant, bartender, or waitress/waiter, and you are allowed some space and time to explore characters, personalities, nuances, and relationships. It also makes it all the more believable when bonding happens, or attraction, or even healing.
Also, admittedly I love a good road trip movie because I love a good (or even mediocre) road trip. Since life and responsibilities limit the amount of time I can hit the road for anything other than the daily commute, road trip movies let my gypsy soul live vicariously.
Kodachrome is almost completely a road trip story, from start to finish, which is one of the reasons I love it so much.
It is also a movie about redemption and forgiveness, and the consequences of the “artist’s life”. Questions of family, of truth, of authenticity, of self, and of letting go of the past are all themes that weave throughout the story. And although the film centers on photography, music plays a significant role, as well.
Matt Ryder (Jason Sudeikis) is a record exec on the almost-outs. His character, at the start, reminds me a bit of Dan (Mark Ruffalo) in another one of my favorite films, Begin Again. They are both about to lose their jobs, they both love music and have an ear for it, and they are both lost internally, and to some degree externally, due to break-ups, and a past that has a hard hold on them. Matt seems to even teeter on that drinking problem that Dan (Begin Again) personifies, it just never takes full center stage in Kodachrome.
The “music business” is not the only way that music plays a part in Kodachrome, though. Mark’s record collection in his aunt and uncle’s home (Mark’s home since his mother died when he was an adolescent) sparks both memories that Mark shared with his father, as well as sparks a conversation, and connection, between Mark, and his father’s nurse, Zooey (Elizabeth Olsen).
A connection that starts to grow as the movie, and the road, unfold.
My one complaint lies with the character of Zooey. I wish they’d developed her as an individual more, instead of just affixing damage to her, and hinting at issues.
Too much of the time she felt like a plot device to both Matt, and his father, and it didn’t have to be that way. Elizabeth Olsen is a fantastic actor (one of my favorites), and quite capable of nuance and complexity of character. And, it was there. You could see it. I just wanted it unpacked more.
Zooey is important to everyone in this story. I wish they’d let her be important to herself in the film, as well.
Ben and Matt’s relationship is the real core of Kodachrome. There are moments when I hate Ben as much as Matt does for the obvious abandonment and neglect he gifted Matt as his father.
Other times, I feel for Ben deeply and want him to find redemption, and want Matt to forgive him. Ben and Matt’s story tugged on me because of my own abandonment issues with my absent father. I couldn’t help but root for them to heal before it was too late.
Overall, I really enjoyed Kodachrome. I loved the road trip setting, the subtext of art and the “artist’s life”, and the story of a child and estranged parent having a chance at a connection, and redemption. I loved the way Music was used and enjoyed the soundtrack, both Agatha Kaspar’s score and songs by Pearl Jam, Galaxie 500, The Indians, Graham Nash, and others.
Oh, and Live…
I even enjoyed the burgeoning, maybe love story that unfolds between Matt and Zooey, even if I wanted more of Zooey beyond her relationships with Ben and Matt. I was still rooting for them, as a “them”, somewhere down the “road”.
Side note: Kodachrome is a Netflix Original, and available to stream, and on DVD, through Netflix.
One of my all-time favorite movies is Reality Bites, a movie written by Helen Childress and directed by Ben Stiller. The film was released in 1994, my 25th year.
Today is my 50th year, and my love for this movie is still going strong.
Reality Bites (1994)
Written by Helen Childress
Directed by Ben Stiller
Movie of the Day
I loved Reality Bites from the first time I saw it in the theater (opening weekend). I have lost track of how many times I’ve seen Reality Bites. It is one of those movies that I often re-watch when I need to cheer up (i.e. “comfort food” movies), when I spend time with friends who love it like I do, or when I just have a Laney, Vickie, Sammy, and Troy Dyer craving.
1994. 25. My life had some look-a-like similarities to the characters in Reality Bites that year. I was renting a small apartment, smoking too much, drinking coffee way, way too late most nights, and rocking Laney’s (Winona Ryder) ’90s hair.
I was in flux at the time, halfway out of a relationship and halfway in one, in that on the cusp of getting back together “place” that I would find myself in, over and over again, during my twenties. I had a two-year-old daughter, and most days I had no idea what I was doing with my life.
I wrote a lot in journals, I worked at a record store, I faltered in relationships, and I had some amazing friends.
The halfway out of a relationship boy said I reminded him of Lelaina, especially in the scene in the gas station mini-mart, when Laney and her friends dance to “My Sharona”.
He told me he always felt held back, and that I was overwhelming to him. I had too much energy and enthusiasm, to an embarrassing degree. He’d go on to say I loved too big, too. That I did everything too big. I suppose I should have listened, that I should have realized that this was part of what I ended up despising, how cold and collected he seemed, how much of his emotions seemed in constant lockdown, and how much he despised any and all of my emotions.
I’ve definitely had my share of guys like Troy (Ethan Hawke). In the years that would follow Reality Bites, I would find myself falling for the intellectual slacker, the unmotivated musician, the underemployed (or unemployed), the boys who were irresponsible, often addicted, and hopelessly attractive to me. They were full of passion, good in bed, and were the kind of boys that you could have all-night conversations with, night after night after night.
“There’s no point to any of this. It’s all just a… a random lottery of meaningless tragedy and a series of near escapes. So I take pleasure in the details. You know… a Quarter-Pounder with cheese, those are good, the sky about ten minutes before it starts to rain, the moment where your laughter become a cackle… and I, I sit back and I smoke my Camel Straights and I ride my own melt.” – Troy Dyer
They weren’t good at the real life shit though. They never had money for dinner, or for rent. They were afraid of commitment, or so into “us” so fast that they became unhealthily obsessed and jealous. Most of them were weak, not physically so, but emotionally, not one to stand by my side when things got rough or needed to be faced. They needed me to fix them, to be strong for them, and to take over all the things in life they didn’t want to do.
Most of them turned out to be nothing but nightmares and heartache.
And yet, even knowing that now, knowing what most Troy’s are like from first hand, and heart, and experience, I still sit here watching, at 50 now, knowing that if I was Laney I would fall for Troy, that I would choose Troy. Every single time.
I think about Lelaina now, today, on my birthday Saturday afternoon, and I still relate so much. Under skin that has lines now, and hair that grays quickly, I don’t feel all that grown-up, no, so much of me still feels like that 25-year-old who was confused all the time, who didn’t know what she wanted to be, or where. I look in the mirror half expecting to see a younger me, the me that still sneaks into so much of my thinking, feeling, and writing, but instead, I see this older woman who resembles my Mother, and my Grandmother.
“I was really going to be somebody by the time I was 23.” – Laney
I’m not afraid of aging, I’m not afraid of age, but I don’t feel much like this reflection that seems to be me. I think I thought I’d really be somebody by the age of 50, and 40, and 35, and 25, and maybe even 23.
Do we ever arrive at that “somebody” we think we’ll be?
Lelaina and Troy’s relationship stayed with me, and always will, as a defining kind of way to live and love. It became a flawed ideal of what I wanted out of love, and in some ways, I have found it at times, maybe not with all the elements of it, of their fictional love story, but definitely the sensibility of it. When I sit back and look at it, really take it in, I know I still want a “you and me and five bucks” kind of love. I don’t know how to not want it, no matter how naive it is, or doomed.
Maybe it’s part of why I like to say Troy Dyer ruined my heart.
Vickie (Janeane Garofalo) is more than just the stereotypical best friend character that we see all too often on film, especially in the romantic comedies and “coming-of-age” drama/dramedies. No, Vickie is more than that, she is complex, she has her own goals, her own struggles, her own insecurities, and is far more important to the story than just as a plot device to move Lelania’s story along.
I love her friendship with Lelania, and the moments we get to see this, like in the car, singing together, and at the diner, talking about life and death, and everything in-between. Their love and friendship are believable and beautiful, and at times reminds me very much of my closest friends and our friendships.
Watching it now it makes me miss having a best girlfriend close by, the kind you spend so much time with, live with, or might as well live with. I miss having that kind of confidante, someone to drive around with playing music loudly and singing-a-long to. A best friend to share my secrets with, go on adventures with, stay up late drinking coffee and making each other laugh.
Sometimes the worst part about growing up is growing apart from your friends, or being long distances away from them.
25 years is a long time, and not so long, as well. I still feel like Lelaina, but I also feel like I’m Laney with some years behind her. I’m still a mess, but I know myself more. I still have vulnerability and tenacity, I still want to create something and be something more than my “job”, and I still am full of flaws, but maybe those flaws are part of what makes me creative and make me, well…me.
And sometimes I just really want to dance around to My Sharona.
“My Sharona” by The Knack
Side note: Reality Bites is available to watch on Netflix (DVD only, US), Starz (cable and streaming), and to rent on Amazon and YouTube (US).
Some movie soundtracks transcend the film they are part of. Though Some Kind of Wonderful is one of my favorite John Hughes’ movies, it’s not among the universally agreed upon “best John Hughes”, not like The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 16 Candles, and even Pretty In Pink are. For some reason, Some Kind of Wonderful gets forgotten. Maybe its because it came later, or it could be its lack of Molly Ringwald or any of the so-called Brat Pack. Whatever the reason, it tends to get overlooked.
Some Kind of Wonderful – Music From the Motion Picture Soundtrack (1987)
The soundtrack might be overlooked, too. It’s hard for me to say, as it’s always been one of my favorite movie soundtracks. It would even be on my list of quintessential albums. The soundtrack to Some Kind of Wonderful is utterly unforgettable, to me. Tied closely with Pretty In Pink, as the best Hughes’ movie soundtracks of all-time.
Released on MCA Records in 1985, the Some Kind of Wonderful soundtrack features songs by Pete Shelley, Flesh For Lulu, Stephen Duffy, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and The March Violets, among others. The soundtrack is full of lesser-known, “alternative” (before the term became a “genre”) bands and artists that have this unmistakable cool-factor. This helped keep the compilation fresh sounding (still is) and not crammed full of stereotypical ’80’s hits that many of us have had our ears over-filled with.
Every song on the soundtrack fit perfectly into the moments and scenes they accompanied in the movie, from the attention-grabbing opening track to the nightclub scene, the kissing lesson/first kiss scene, the climactic party, and finally, the unusual and beautiful cover of the Elvis classic, “I Can’t Help Falling In Love” which starts up at the ending of the final scene, and then plays in full over the closing credits. Every song appears to have been chosen with meticulous precision, acting as part of the scene itself, if not as a supporting character.
The end – Some Kind of Wonderful
The songs on this soundtrack remind me of the “Imports” section in my favorite record stores during my teen and twenty-something years. The bins where I discovered bands and artists that weren’t getting airplay on even the edgiest radio stations of the time. I loved mining for these albums, uncovering new favorites that I would devour, and share with other music obsessive friends of mine. This soundtrack is full of just those kinds of bands and artists.
Furniture’s melancholic “Brilliant Mind” and Flesh For Lulu’s pop-culture laden “I Go Crazy” were my first-listen favorites, when I first bought the album. These were tracks I immediately started including on mixtapes made for myself and others.
I remember thinking it was refreshing to hear a Stephen Duffy song other than “Kiss Me”, and to have other people start finding out who Pete Shelley was. Oh, and The March Violets’ version of The Rolling Stones’ “Miss Amanda Jones” and Lick The Tins rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love” quickly became part of my endless collection of best-loved cover songs.
Do you have any favorites from the soundtrack?
Top 5 Some Kind Of Wonderful Songs
1.”Brilliant Mind” by Furniture, featuring David Jacob
2. “Do Anything” by Pete Shelley
3. “I Go Crazy” by Flesh For Lulu
4. “She Loves Me” by Stephen Duffy
5. “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Lick The Tins
Three days away from “song of the days”, and other lyriquediscorde postings, due to a three-day, bank holiday weekend. Sometimes disconnecting and taking a break to be engaged with one’s in-person life is necessary. I usually do this on weekends anyway, so this was a weekend plus one away. For the most part, the three days were wonderful, with a one-day exception that worked itself out before the day was through. Its tough sometimes for me to deal with the rough days. It’s hard not to think they are indicative of what we have. But, I try to remind myself that we are still new and that often my perspectives and expectations are built on how I react and see things in this world, not how the other person does. This can be a trap, of sorts. A recipe for disappointment, and hurt feelings, and yes, rough days. I’m trying to sort through that all and catch myself when I’m locked into my perspectives and expectations. I’m trying to learn to stop it before it causes issues, step back, and see things from both sides.
Relationships are work. Hard work sometimes. Little to no work at other times. We are all so different, have had different upbringings and past relationships, and have different ways of loving, expressing ourselves, and feeling. It’s worth the work though, even on the rough days. Maybe especially on those rough days.
“War and Peace” by M. Ward
from the album, What a Wonderful Industry (2018)
also from the original motion picture soundtrack – Juliet, Naked (2018)
Song of the Day
Over the weekend Chris and I saw the film Juliet, Naked, the cinematic version of the Nick Hornby book of the same name. I loved the movie in so many ways, and for so many reasons. One of those reasons was the music in the film. The soundtrack is filled with favorites of mine, including today’s Song of the Day, M. Ward with a song that is off of his 2018 album, What a Wonderful Industry.
Check-out the movie, and its soundtrack, if you get the chance. I highly recommend both.
Juliet, Naked (2018)
Rose Byrne and Ethan Hawke
“Have You Ever Had It Blue?” (live at Sydney Opera House) by Paul Weller
Happy Weller Wednesday, that special day of the week where we celebrate, listen to and learn about All Things Paul Weller. This week we turn our eyes and ears to a Live Performance from the Sydney Opera House. Paul Weller performing a Song originally by The Style Council, and featured in the Film Absolute Beginners – “Have You Ever Had It Blue?”
“Have You Ever Had It Blue?” was The Style Council’s contribution to Julien Temple’s 1986 musical version of Colin MacInnes’ novel Absolute Beginners (earlier the inspiration for a classic Jam single) was their last truly interesting single, and even it has undeniable echoes of a few songs from the previous year’s Internationalists, particularly “With Everything To Lose” and “All Gone Away.” A horn arrangement by Gil Evans opens the song with an authentically cool jazz nod to the novel’s time period, but the song itself has more of a bossa nova feel, with its subtle Latin percussion and Dee C. Lee’s Astrud Gilberto-like wordless backing vocals. Still, it’s a richly melodic tune and the end of Paul Weller’s continental jazz-pop persona. From here it was the miserable genre-exploitation of the last few Style Council records and a diminishing-returns solo career. (from Stewart Mason at All Music)
“Have You Ever Had It Blue?” by The Style Council
Though Weller tends to disregard Absolute Beginners as a Film, often saying disparaging things about it before performing “Have You Ever Had It Blue?”, its Soundtrack is stellar. The Style Council shares Musical space with David Bowie, Ray Davies, Sade, among others.
Absolute Beginners was released in 1986 and was adapted from Colin MacInnes’ book of the same name. It is about life in late 1950’s London and was directed by Julien Temple. It stars Patsy Kensit, David Bowie, and Sade.
Although the Movie received heavy Media coverage and promotion, it was essentially a box office flop. So, I guess Weller has a point when he talks it down. The Music was what made the Film memorable, especially Bowie’s “Absolute Beginners” Single, and “Have You Ever Had It Blue?” by The Style Council.
Absolute Beginners (1986)
End of Video features “Have You Ever Had It Blue?”
The Song lives on well past the unfortunately low-rated Film. It also seems to have lived past The Style Council itself. Weller still plays it often during Solo shows, breathing new life, and an Acoustic update to the Song, keeping it relevant and quite lovely to hear.
“Have You Ever Had It Blue?” (live, KEXP Radio) by Paul Weller
What do you think of the Song? Do you prefer the Absolute Beginners/Style Council Version or Weller’s Live Acoustic stylings?
Happy 21st Birthday to “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, the epic TV Series created by Joss Whedon. In celebration of Buffy Summers and the “Scooby Gang” Soundtrack Saturdays is taking a moment to appreciate the TV Soundtrack, Buffy the Vampire Slayer – The Album. The Soundtrack Album is full of 90’s goodness, featuring Songs by Nerf Herder, Guided By Voices, Garbage, Bif Naked, K’s Choice, The Sundays, and others.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Album (1999)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Album was the first Soundtrack Album released from the TV Series. The Album was released in 1999, and includes Music featured in the first four seasons of the TV Series, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”.
I had this on CD, and played it often, lifting some of my Favorite Tracks to add to Mixes I made. My Favorite from the Album was K’s Choice, a band I discovered because of the Series. There were other Artists I discovered from this Soundtrack compilation, including Rasputina, Bif Naked, Kim Ferron, and Four Star Mary.
The Series, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” was a Favorite of mine. A Must-See while it was on-air. I’m always a fan of a Strong Female Lead, and Buffy was definitely that. There were other strong, badass characters in it, as well. Willow, Faith, Drusilla, Cordelia, Anya, Tara, Joyce, and Dawn…to name a few. The Series even started with a twist on the “blonde victim” trope, when the “blonde” (Darla, another strong female character) turned out to be the villain and not the victim. The Series tackled many themes and issues and broke boundaries in many ways. It also celebrated friendship that became a “chosen family” in a way that is sometimes rare on TV and is something that always appeals to me in a big way. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” will always be on my list of all-time Favorite TV.
And the Music, it complemented the Series without overtaking it. The 90’s started a trend in Television (especially in what might be labeled “Teen Television”) where the Music often overwhelmed the scenes. Some of this was due to the popularity of Soundtrack Albums, as well as the partnering up and cross-promotions of Musical artists, something that continues today. This wasn’t the case with “Buffy” though. The Songs used, whether as Soundtrack or played live at The Bronze, never upstaged the story or action.
Speaking of The Bronze, the Series had its own Music Venue, something a few other shows have had as well, but never quite to the level of The Bronze, in my opinion. Though I may have questioned this cool, underground club being in the small town of Sunnydale, I suspended my disbelief because a) Sunnydale is located atop the Hellmouth, and what “Hellmouth” wouldn’t have a way cool club, and b) because I loved it too much to question it. I mean, wouldn’t you like to go and visit The Bronze this Saturday night?
Though there are two Songs I wished had been included, “Fade Into You” by Mazzy Star and “Full of Grace” by Sarah McLachlan, I still have so much love for this TV Soundtrack.
Do you remember Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Album? Did you have a copy? What were your Favorites on it?
Here are my Top 5 Favorites:
Top 5 Songs from Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Album
1. “Virgin State of Mind” by K’s Choice
2. “Temptation Waits” by Garbage
3. “Wild Horses” by The Sundays
4. “Lucky” by Bif Naked
5. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Theme” by Nerf Herder
Back to the 90’s for another Soundtrack Saturdays Feature. This time let’s focus in on Romeo + Juliet, a Film from 1996 that actually had two Soundtrack releases because there was too much great Music for one Album to hold. Today, though, it is the first release we are going to focus on – William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet Music From the Motion Picture.
Romeo + Juliet Soundtrack (1996)
Baz Luhrmann is known for his use of Music in his Films. It is a personal signature that makes his Movies some of my Favorites. I love when Music is used well in Film, and in the case of Romeo + Juliet, the Music becomes part of the plot. It almost plays like a character within itself.
The Artists and Bands included on the Soundtrack are a mix of 90’s Icons and Indie Acts that were little known at the time. Stina Nordenstam is one Artist that comes immediately to mind, a Singer who I discovered because of the Romeo + Juliet Soundtrack. I remember, too, that it was one of my first introductions to Garbage, one that helped lead me to be a Fan of the band, and of Shirley Manson. Gavin Friday, Kym Mazelle, and Des’ree were big stand-outs to me, too.
The Soundtrack was a hit, reaching #2 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and going triple-platinum in U.S. sales. It was especially successful in Australia (home of Baz Luhrmann) where it became the second-highest selling album in 1997, going five times platinum in sales. A number of hits came off of the Soundtrack, too, including “Lovefool” by The Cardigans, “Kissing You” (love theme from Romeo + Juliet) by Des’ree, and a cover of “Young Hearts Run Free” by Kym Mazelle. Quindon Tarver’s choral rendition of Rozalla’s “Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good)” was later used in Luhrmann’s “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen” Single. (from Wikipedia)
What was your Favorite Track off of the Romeo + Juliet Soundtrack? Here’s mine:
Top 5 Songs from the Romeo + Juliet Soundtrack
1. “#1 Crush” by Garbage
2. “Talk Show Host” by Radiohead
3. “Little Star” by Stina Nordenstam
4. “Kissing You (Love Theme from Romeo + Juliet)” by Des’ree
5. “Kissing You” (Instrumental) by Craig Armstrong (Bonus Track on 10th Anniversary Release)
Let’s head back to the 90’s, to Generation Xers, Slackers, 70’s nostalgia, post-college crisis, friends, lovers, and other complications. To the world of doily dresses, jobs at the gap, pay-phones, gas cards, and god-damn Troy Dyer. Reality Bites came into my life at the most appropriate of times, like the Hughes/Ringwald Movies of the 80’s, Reality Bites happened right when being in my twenties was my reality, and I recognized a lot of myself in Laney, and a lot of my friends, and clumsy relationships in Vickie, Sammy, and Troy. It was both wonderful, and terrible, to be in my twenties in 1994. Writer Helen Childress and Director Ben Stiller, they got it. And the Music, it was the kind that favorite Soundtracks are made of.
Reality Bites (1994)
The Soundtrack to Reality Bites started around the time when RCA Records met with Music supervisor Karyn Rachtman and Ben Stiller three weeks into the Movies filing to discuss ideas for the Soundtrack Album. They finalized a deal and the label opened its roster to Stiller who picked only one band, Me Phi Me.
The Soundtrack was aggressively marketed and five of the Album’s Tracks were on heavy MTV and Radio rotation. Crowded House’s “Locked Out” had its Video edited to include footage from Reality Bites. Also, Ben Stiller directed a Video for Juliana Hatfield Three’s Song, “Spin the Bottle”, which featured Film clips, as well.
The Reality Bites Soundtrack sold 1.2 million units and reached #13 on the Billboard 200. It also earned a #1 Single with Lisa Loeb’s Stay (I Missed You).
Reality Bites Soundtrack includes songs by World Party, Squeeze, The Knack (My Sharona featured prominently in one scene from the film), Juliana Hatfield, Social Distortion, and two contributions from Crowded House (Locked Out and Something So Strong, the latter not included on the soundtrack album) in addition to the runaway hit Stay (I Missed You) by Lisa Loeb, which earned Loeb the distinction of being the first artist to top the Hot 100 before being signed to any record label.
My Top 5 Reality Bites Songs
1. “Spin the Bottle” by The Juliana Hatfield Three
2. “When You Come Back To Me” by World Party
3. “All I Want is You” by U2
4. “Tempted” by Squeeze
5. “Bed of Roses” by The Indians
“Silent Sigh” by Badly Drawn Boy was featured on the Soundtrack to the 2002 Film, About a Boy. The Song reached #16 on the UK Singles Chart, in 2002. Badly Drawn Boy did all the Music for the Film, and this Track, as well as “Something To Talk About” is the two most recognizable from the Movie, to me.
“Silent Sigh” by Badly Drawn Boy
from the album, About A Boy Soundtrack
I love the melancholic feel of the Song that is also tinged with a dreamy quality that gifts it with a dose of hope, too. I think about the Movie and the story within. How there are loneliness and sadness, and depression there. But, how there is also laughter, and love, and ultimately hope. This Song fits so perfectly, to me, with the mood and tone of the Film, which is one of my favorites.
The Movie, About a Boy is based on the novel of the same name written by Nick Hornby. The Book and the Film are both favorites of mine. The movie was produced by Jane Rosenthal, Robert DeNiro, Brad Epstein, Tim Bevan, and Eric Fellner. It was adapted to screen and directed by brothers Chris and Paul Weitz. It starred Hugh Grant, Toni Collette, Rachel Weisz, and a very young Nicholas Hoult.
Hearing this Song today makes me want to throw in my copy of the Movie and watch it, or grab the book off the shelf and give in a re-read. I do really feel like this Song, and the others by Badly Drawn Boy, were a genius choice to accompany this story.
What do you think?