Music and movies – quite possibly the two most popular forms of entertainment in the modern world. Of course, I’ve always been a fan of the classic chick flick – Mean Girls, Legally Blonde, Clueless – and true story tear-jerks like The Blind Side, but at the end of the day, my heart goes back to musical movies as being some of my absolute favorites. I always want to rave about these films to literally anyone that will listen, so I thought I’d get all my gushing out in a blog post. Listed below are five of my most favorite musical movies that I think everyone needs to see. I have attached links to the trailers on each title, as well as the soundtracks – unfortunately, not all of these films are on Netflix, but I know there are a multitude of online streaming services where you can rent them for cheap. I hope y’all enjoy!
Across The Universe is any Beatles fan’s dream. Set in the 1960s amongst the political tensions of the Vietnam War and the anti-war movement, it tells the stories of a series of characters and how their lives intertwine. And the best part? It is based solely upon Beatles songs, and the cast sings them throughout the movie. Jude (Jim Sturgess), a boy from Britain seeking to find his father, comes to America, where he eventually meets a girl named Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood) – and they embark on an adventure of love, passion, and self-discovery. It is one of my favorite movies of all time and I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in American history and an appreciation for one of the greatest rock bands ever. And it’s on Netflix! (listen to the soundtrack here)
Like Across The Universe, That Thing You Do! is also set in the 1960s, following the story of a one-hit-wonder band’s rise to stardom. Tom Hanks directed the film and also filled a starring role alongside Tom Everett Scott and Liv Tyler. Showcasing the rollercoaster ride of fame, unexpected success, and the internal struggles of the 60s music industry, That Thing You Do! will make you laugh and cry all at once. If you liked the remake of Hairspray, you’ll love this movie. Unfortunately, this one is not streamed online through Netflix, but they do have it on DVD. You can also rent or buy it on Youtube and Google play! (soundtrack linked here)
3. La La Land
This film is a record-breaking, critically acclaimed, artistic masterpiece. La La Land tells the story of a jazz pianist (Ryan Gosling) and a struggling actress (Emma Stone) as they grasp at their dreams, whilst falling in love in the process. The music in this film is simply breathtaking, and it really does so accurately emulate the feelings and difficulties of being a starving artist with a desire to thrive off of creativity. At the 74th Golden Globes, La La Land won in every category in which it was nominated. At the 89th Academy Awards, it received fourteen nominations (tying with Titanic), and won six of the fourteen. I think most everyone that has seen this movie will agree that it will make you want to sing and dance and chase after your dreams. If you haven’t experienced La La Land yet, you need to. (but seriously, listen to the soundtrack here and be amazed – “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” will make you cry)
4. August Rush
When I was in middle school, I was enamored with this film. That’s when I was going through my adolescent pop/punk, eyeliner-ed, I’m-different-than-everyone-else phase, and I was obsessed with music and the passion that came with it. August Rush tells the story of an orphan boy, named August, who runs away from the orphanage in hopes of finding his parents, while his biological mother, a professional cellist, is also looking for him and his biological father, a rock band lead singer, is looking for her. Complicated, I know. As August goes along his journey, his incredible talent for music blossoms. He’s basically the next Mozart – a child musical genius. Through their familial love for music, this discombobulated family sets out to find each other, and the whole time you will be pining for them to be successful. The music in this film is really wonderful, and it also stars Robin Williams, so what’s not to like? I’ve noticed a few minor plot holes here and there, but it is still a fantastic film that’s worth a watch. Netflix has it on DVD! (listen to the soundtrack here)
Based on Jason Robert Brown’s musical of the same title, The Last Five Years is heartbreaking in the most beautiful way. Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan portray a young married couple, Cathy and Jamie, telling the story of the unfortunate deterioration of their marriage, with a twist. Cathy, an aspiring actress, tells it from the present backwards to the beginning of their five years, while Jamie, an up-and-coming writer, tells it from the beginning to the end. Each of them perform songs back and forth, telling their sides of the break up, tugging at your heartstrings as they go. This film reveals the emotional realities of love, relationships, and the hardships that come with following your dreams. It’s also available on Netflix so that’s a huge plus. I highly recommend pairing this film with a free Saturday night, your favorite fuzzy blanket, and a cup of tea. (soundtrack linked here!)
If any of y’all give one (or more) of these films a shot, please let me know what you think in the comments below! I would love to hear your thoughts. Do y’all have any musical movie recommendations for me?
I hope this post inspires your next movie marathon! Happy watching, and as always, much love.
DISCLAIMER: IMAGES ARE NOT MY OWN
© Kate Stedelbauer and AbundantlyKate, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kate Stedelbauer and AbundantlyKate with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.