We’re so with you on #2, AstonishingAtLast. What is it about France and aliens that makes movie musicals so awesome? –Sparkitors
When I entered high school, my main (nonacademic) goal was to get my friends to LOVE at least one musical. Now that I’m a junior, I’ve expanded my sights beyond my friends—I am now dedicated to convincing the world to love musicals, one Sparkler at a time! This is much more difficult than it seems, because, for some reason, people associate musicals with nuns running around Switzerland, inner-city dance-fighters, and random people from Oklahoma. Allow my list of flippin’ awesome movie musicals to reeducate you on what a musical can do.
Plot summary: After their car breaks down, the newly engaged Brad and Janet seek shelter in a nearby castle only to find themselves thrust into a strange new world of rock ‘n’ roll aliens, cheesy plotlines, bad special effects, and sexual exploration. The cast includes a hunchbacked butler with a glam-rock voice, a coupla sexy housemaids, a cross-dressing mad scientist, and…Meatloaf?
Why it’s awesome: You still need convincing? Fine: Ever had the urge to see Nigel Thornberry in women's underwear? Who hasn’t! It’s what you’ll get when you check out Tim Curry (voice of Thornberry) as Dr. Frank N. Furter. Before you run screaming into the night, keep in mind that this guy spends the entire movie in a gold Speedo. Plus, the music is undeniably awesome! So before you write this off as the world’s weirdest movie (which it just may be), give it a chance. But remember: it may be unsuitable for mini-Sparklers, for themes including extreme second base and mild nudity.
Plot summary: You’ve seen it referenced on cartoons from the Family Guy to the Fairly OddParents, but chances are good you’ve never seen the movie itself. And that is unfortunate, cause MAN, is it a good movie! Little Shop is the story of Seymour Krelborn, an old-school nerd who works in Mushnik’s, a struggling plant shop on Skid Row, with girl of his dreams, Audrey. During a solar eclipse, Seymour comes across a “strange and interesting plant” that seems like the very thing to save Mushnik’s...until he discovers it’s an alien plant that survives on human blood. To make the plant thrive, Seymour serves it human blood—his own. AT FIRST. He and Audrey II, as he not at all creepily names the plant, become famous, but the plant—which can not only talk, but SING—becomes more and more evil, until Seymour realizes that it must be destroyed if he hopes to survive.
Why it’s awesome: First off, the music gets stuck in your head like no other. If you clicked on Skid Row, then you KNOW. Secondly, Steve Martin. CLICK ON THE LINK. Finally, who knew Rick Moranis, AKA Dark Helmet from Spaceballs, could sing?
Plot summary: An incredibly creepy, sexy-voiced stalker disguises himself as a ghost to teach an underage soprano to sing, then forces a c0uple of opera managers to give her roles (by threatening murder). He also kidnaps the soprano and forces her to spend a night in his creepster lair below the Paris opera house. Sound romantic yet? Did I mention Gerard Butler plays the Phantom? *drools*
Why it’s awesome: All right, it’s not the best movie musical out there, but jiminy crispies, it should be seen by everyone! Phantom is the longest-running Broadway show of all time, after all. I think the fact that people have been going to see this show for 23 years speaks for itself. Not convinced? GERARD BUTLER.
Plot summary: Technically, this is a concert film, not a real movie, but here’s the basic story: Jean Valjean is released after 19 years in prison. Right when it seems like his status as an ex-con is going to ruin his life, a kindly old bishop saves him, giving him silver on the condition that he uses it to become an honest man. That’s just the prologue—stick with the story, and it’ll take you to the docks, inns, streets, and barricades of early 19th Century Paris.
Why it’s awesome: First of all, the talent in the show is INCREDIBLE. Ruthie Henshall as the prostitute Fantine is enough to hook you, and Lea Salonga—also known as the voice of Disney’s Jasmine and Mulan—sells it as lovelorn street urchin Éponine. And the music, OMG the music! It melts my heart. It is incredible times a gazillion.
If this doesn’t convince you to rent one or all of these movies, I don’t know what will. Maybe this.
What's your must-see movie musical?
Related post: 20 Great Ideas for a Movie Musical
Wanna write for SparkNotes, with or without periodically breaking into song? Read this first.