Iím a big fan of music. Iíll admit I prefer some kinds to others, but I really like music when it blends well with another favorite of mine Ė movies. Musicals are great, but they arenít what Iím talking about here. Iím talking about real movies with music central to the plot Ė not just the soundtrack. Here are my top five music movies:
#5 That Thing You Do
Set in the 1960s, a small band from Pennsylvania has a single that hits the national charts. The band travels across the country along with the lead singerís girlfriend (Liv Tyler) and their manager (Tom Hanks) to perform and gain more publicity as they prepare to cut the rest of the album. Unfortunately, they arenít known as one-hit-wonders for no reason. This movie seems like a comedy at first, but then settles nicely into a real drama. Itís not too heavy, but it does make you think.
#4 Almost Famous
This time, in the 1970s, a high school boy is offered an opportunity to travel with an up-and-coming band across the country. William, the main character, is supposed to be interviewing the band, but is really learning far more about life, love and the music industry. Kate Hudson is Penny Lane who is the token groupie, but her connection with William is part of what makes the movie so good. There is plenty of drama and a few laughs to go along with it.
#3 High Fidelity
If youíre old enough to endure the language and you like obscure music, youíll love High Fidelity. Rob, played by John Cusack, is in the middle of a nasty break-up. He makes a list of the top five break-ups heís had and walks you through them one by one. All the time heís running his record shop, dealing with his crazy employees (including Jack Black!) and trying to decide how heís going to handle the current ex-girlfriend situation.
#2 Walk the Line?
As a fan of classical country, I love Walk the Line. The movie is biographical and tells the story of Johnny Cash from childhood through his stardom. Joaquin Phoenix plays Johnny and Reese Witherspoon
plays June Carter, who eventually becomes June Carter-Cash. The fact that this is the real account of one of the biggest music legendís real life makes this movie especially fascinating. Johnny Carter actually wrote book that was adapted to the movie, so all the pieces, including his time with Elvis and his drug addiction, are real. The music certainly isnít shabby either.
#1 School of Rock
This is one of Jack Blackís greatest films. Not only is the movie family friendly, it ROCKS! Jack Black plays a struggling musician who pretends to be someone else in order to take a job as a substitute teacher to earn some extra cash. Jack teaches his pupils almost nothing about academic matters, but plenty about rock and roll. Full of great one liners and just plain funny, School of Rock is easily my #1 Music Movie.