I want to start this piece with a brief history lesson.
The art of musical theatre can be traced way back to the Middle Ages, the European Renaissance, and even the inclusion of music and dance in the theatre of ancient Greece. The 1500s saw the rise of the West End thanks to the works of Shakespeare, with New York’s Broadway following suit in the 1750s. Honouring the best and brightest of the stage started with the Tony Awards in 1947, and the 2000s have seen an increase in musicals being adapted for the big screen, with the likes of Rent, Chicago and Hairspray.
By 2014, musical moments are now big on television (for example, a little phenomenon known as Glee), and often offer the most memorable scenes in non-musical films and TV shows. Musicals have come a long way, and here’s my countdown of the best on-screen musical moments in recent years, whether they have made me dance, laugh, or cry.
(This is, of course, from non-musicals, so that means no Glee, Disney, or anything that has a stage equivalent)
American Horror Story: Asylum – ‘The Name Game’
Super fun and fits in surprisingly well with what was literally an insane season.
White Chicks – ‘A Thousand Miles’
Always a road trip classic thanks to this film.
Scrubs – ‘Guy Love’
I don’t even know what to say. It’s guy love, between two guys.
Mean Girls – ‘Jingle Bell Rock’
A Christmas staple in girl world, with perfect choreography from all, including Regina’s mom.
Love, Actually – ‘Jump’
It’s Hugh Grant. As the Prime Minister. Dancing. Around 10 Downing Street. Do I even need to explain?
One Tree Hill – ‘I Don’t Wanna Be’
The song that was used for the opening credits every week for nine seasons closes out the last episode. A fitting end, and ridiculously emotional for any fan of the show.
Easy A – ‘Pocket Full Of Sunshine’
One of the most relatable scenes on this list. This is me.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – ‘Twist and Shout’
Yet another day of school, or lip-syncing the Beatles on top of a parade float in downtown Chicago? I know where I’d rather be.
The Breakfast Club – ‘We Are Not Alone’
The best scene of this classic ‘80s film about misfits, and the bringing together of students who are different yet the same.
Family Guy – ‘Bird Is The Word’
This will be stuck in your head for days, and I’m not even sorry.
Big – ‘Chopsticks’
A new take on a classic, and so cool – I wish I could do this!
The Vampire Diaries – ‘Eternal Flame’
Clearly an effective way to tell a guy you like him!
12 Years A Slave – ‘Roll, Jordan Roll’
Adds to an already hugely emotional film.
(500) Days Of Summer – ‘You Make My Dreams’
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is so in love, which makes this a hugely uplifting and heart-warming scene.
How I Met Your Mother – ‘Nothing Suits Me Like A Suit’
A huge production with an orchestra and tons of dancers that pretty much sums up why I loved this show. Also who doesn’t love a Neil Patrick Harris performance?
This Is The End – ‘Backstreet’s Back’
Possibly the best ending to a movie ever.
Orange Is The New Black – ‘I Saw The Light’
A perfect end to the Christmas pageant and season one of the Netflix hit – go Norma!
So there you have it! Compiling this last has now put me in the best mood ever. Have I missed anything special? What is your favourite on-screen musical moment? I’d love to hear all your ideas!
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