Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?- Musical numbers in Non Musicals   Leave a comment

Has everyone seen This is the End yet?  No? Well, if you haven’t seen this apocalyptic comedy, I highly recommend it.   It got me to like Seth Rogen and company again after having been tired of them for a long time.  It managed to be the best horror movie I’ve seen in quite sometime while also being the best comedy this crew has put out in years.  I have maintained that post The Cabin in the Woods successful horror movies would need to be something fresh and new, and This is the End got it right.

Good job, thumbs up.

Good job, thumbs up.

It also happens to utilize one of my very favorite film making techniques: the musical sequence in a non musical film.    The moment where narrative story telling stops for a little while and the emotion plays out through song.  I won’t spoil the surprise for you if you are planing on checking the movie out, but you can find a poorly framed cell phone video of the clip here.

In musicals there is an understanding that the world those characters inhabit is one where emotions and important moments are played out through song and dance.  Although the characters never seem to acknowledge it is happening.  I have always wondered if the characters are supposed to be aware that this is happening and never talk about it because it is so wholly unremarkable to them, or if they experience the song as just a regular conversation/ interaction/ thoughts.  But that’s a whole other blog post…

Musical sequences can be worked into non musical films in a verity of ways and for a verity of reasons.  He are just a few examples to help you through the slog that is a Tuesday afternoon:


Anchorman- Afternoon Delight

Wayne’s World – Bohemian Rhapsody

Back to the Future – Johnny B. Goode

Forgetting Sarah Marshal – Dracula’s Lament

Full Version

 Better Off Dead – Everybody Wants Some

Euro Trip- Scotty Doesn’t Know

Breakfast Club – We Are Not Alone

Hook – When You’re All Alone

Clerks 2 – ABC

Spoiler Warning if you haven’t seen Clerks 2.

40 Year old Virgin – Aquarius/ Let the Sunshine In

500 Days of Summer – You Make My Dreams Come True


Thanks to everyone who helped me put this list together! What are some other musical sequences you love from movies? Tell me below!


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