Songs of the Movies That Made Us

Sarah Stukalin

What makes a movie unforgettable?


Is it an amazing cast, production value, script? While this all contributes to a movie’s stardom, nothing solidifies a movie into legend status quite like a musical number in a non-musical movie. Many movies that have been deemed “unforgettable” seem to contain a musical scene: a scene that catches its viewers so off-guard, that you can’t help but remember it. Musical scenes add a sort of whimsy and magic to a scene. They can transport you beyond the scope of the movie and give you the ability to get even more lost in the story. Here are some of my personal favorite musical scenes, from a not so musical movie. 


“(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” – Dirty Dancing 


Perhaps one of the most iconic musical scenes of all time, the finale of Dirty Dancing and its choreography has lived on to be dubbed, recreated, and reimagined decades after its initial release. There’s something about Patrick Swayze lifting Jennifer Grey over his head to the vocals of Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes that is absolutely intoxicating and romantic. The song is already great for a car ride singalong, but pair it with ballroom dancing and the song moves from greatness to perfection. 

“(Don’t You) Forget About Me” – The Breakfast Club


Something about Judd Nelson raising his fist in the air to the beat of this song just makes even the viewer feel powerful and free. Set to the iconic breakfast club monologue, a dig at their pretentious and downright evil vice principal, the song brings a sense of nostalgia and comfort. The Breakfast Club has the stark ability to transport a viewer back to their teenage years, add a kick*ss ballad at the end, and you get the perfect final scene. 

“Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” – Ten Things I Hate About You 


This song is already so fun and carefree, and with Heath Ledger’s goofy dancing and sub-par singing, it is utter perfection. The perfect song to confess your undying love to a girl who wants nothing to do with you, this song and its association with one of the greatest rom-coms of the nineties makes it an absolutely iconic track. 

“Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In” – The 40-Year-Old Virgin


A movie that contains absolutely no musical moments until its credit scene, The 40-Year-Old Virgin’s wacky and unpredictable storyline fed into its musical moment. The entire cast dawned in sixties attire dancing to The 5th Dimension is delightfully random, fun, and out of the box. While it certainly catches the viewer off guard, it makes for a wonderful and energetic closing scene.