I’ve always been a big fan of dance movies and musicals. Having danced from the age of four up to 16, and then returning to dance from age 27 until now, I couldn’t really avoid musical films or stage shows. I’m always on the lookout for movies to watch although I do tend to miss them at cinema and just get them on DVD or once they’re shown on TV. Lots of dance movies go straight to DVD so my dance film collection is pretty full. I’ve been known to chase down random movies on auction sites or Amazon to add to my collection.
I love it when I find a new movie, usually by accident when it shown on TV. I recorded a couple the other month without realising either were musical, and I realised that there’s probably a few similar films that fall by the wayside compared to the big screen hits.
Here’s my five random musical movies in the vein of Mamma Mia. When I say musicals these range from films where they break out into song in random places throughout, or that they focus on music or songs. I’m also usually in tears by the end, whether it’s a sad or happy ending.
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My 5 underrated musical movies
Once was released in 2007, the story of 2 unnamed song writers, one a busker, the other an immigrant to Dublin. It’s a fairly subdued film and very understated, but is a charming friendship and love story told through their songwriting together. Much of the music is written by the lead guy Glen Hansard.
Sunshine on Leith
I came across this film by chance on the TV schedules late at night and decided to record it. The characters are old friends returning home to Edinburgh from the army. Trying to find their way in the world while resuming friendships and relationships which have changed since they’ve been away. There’s a pretty epic final song and dance routine at the end of the film, with the film’s music being The Proclaimers hits.
Walking on Sunshine
Another film recently discovered, where I didn’t realise it was actually musical until I watched it back. This one is all about 80s music so if you’re an 80s fan this could be for you.
Its very similar in style to Mamma Mia in that it set in a beautiful holiday location, this time in Italy. The plot is based around two sisters one with a for my holiday romance and one about to get married in the holiday romance village. It’s an obvious plot but is a reasonable rom com musical style with a happy ending.
When I watched this I didn’t work out initially that it was based on the story of Paul Potts who was the opera singer winner of Britain’s Got Talent a few years ago. James Corden plays the lead and there’s other well known actors in the film like Julie Walters. It’s a biopic of his life in the run up to and win of the talent show. It’s not a full on musical, just the opera performances, but it’s a feel good movie to watch even if you’re not a fan of Britain’s Got Talent.
An easy to watch movie with a musical theme from the same director as Once. Bigger budget names like Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo and Adam Levine. The plot is about a musician’s girlfriend being left behind and becoming the ex-girlfriend, then discovering her own music along with Ruffalo’s character. Less gritty than Once but an easier watch, with some nice songs in.
Are you a musical films fan? Which ones would you recommend?
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