Music Break: Five great songs/theme from Richard Curtis’ films

AboutTimePosterI haven’t done a Music Break post in a while but today I might as well hit two birds with one stone to highlight Richard Curtis. Today the British writer/director turns 57 and his time-travel rom-com About Time starring Domhnall Gleeson & Rachel McAdams opens today in the US as well, so I thought why not highlight some of the music from his films.

You could say Mr. Curtis is the King of British Rom-Com, he’s also the man behind great comedic shows like Blackadder and The Vicars of Dibley (my personal fave). He often works with Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean) and Hugh Grant, in fact, all of the films I highlighted here have Grant in them! His films are quintessentially British, filled with wacky British humor and cultural references which I really enjoy, but another thing I love about his movies are the great soundtracks.

Here are five from some of my favorite movies written/produced by Richard Curtis:

She – Notting Hill

I’ve never even heard of Elvis Costello’s music before this one but I LOVE, LOVE this song and I like how it plays in the beginning to sort of introduce Julia Roberts’ movie star character. It has such sweet, melancholic melody that

Ain’t No Sunshine When She Goes Away
– Notting Hill

The song choice is just perfect for this scene, it’s as if R&B star Bill Withers knew exactly what broken-hearted William (Hugh Grant) is thinking at this moment as he goes through each season missing his sweetheart Anna. I’m not a huge fan of Hugh Grant generally but too is perfect for this role.

Love is All Around – Four Weddings & A Funeral

I remember playing this song over and over when this film first came out. The song was originally recorded by The Troggs but in this soundtrack it was performed by Scottish band Wet Wet Wet. Apparently it was so popular it remained at number 1 in the British charts for fifteen weeks and was then the ninth biggest selling single of all time in Britain (per Wikipedia). Playful and romantic, just like the movie!

PM Love Theme – Love, Actually

There are a lot of great themes in this film, I also love the Glasgow Theme but this one has such a swooning quality about it but not in an overly sappy way. It has such a rousing and ‘stately’ feel about it too that fits the fact that Hugh Grant’s character is a British state leader.

Have You Met Miss Jones? – Bridget Jones’ Diary

I initially didn’t realize that this song’s part of Bridget Jones’ Diary. I LOVE it, it’s so my kind of music as I was just telling Michael and Jack in this awesome music post. I had no clue that swing jazz is Robbie Williams’ genre, I thought he’s more of a pop star. Originally sung by Sinatra, of course it’s tough to beat the real deal, but still, it’s a lovely song that I can listen to over and over.

Hope you enjoyed the Music Break. Which Richard Curtis’ movie(s) are your favorites?

Special Anniversary Top Ten: Memorable Wedding Scenes

IvanRuthHoldingHands10th on the 10th. My friend Becky just pointed that out to me yesterday as I was completely oblivious 😀 Well, today is my 10th wedding anniversary with my beloved. Time flies when you’re having fun they say, and I’m truly blessed that I still adore my husband – if not more so – today as I did 10 years ago when I married him. More importantly, I still like him as a person and we just get on so well day in and day out. Truly, there’s nobody I’d rather spend time with for the rest of my life.

So for this special occasion, I thought I’d do a top 10 list of my favorite wedding scenes. These are obviously a personal list, as everyone is going to have a different list that speak to them based on what movies they have seen.

1. Love, Actually

This is such an awesome surprise, I wish this happened at my wedding ceremony! Keira Knightley and Chiwetel Ejiofor made for a lovely couple and I LOVE their expression as the musicians start popping up from the church’s pews and balcony, serenading the bride and groom with a joyous rendition of The Beatles’ All You Need Is Love. Of course I also can’t help feeling so bad  for Andrew Lincoln’s Mark who’s secretly in love with his best friend’s bride.

2. Sound of Music

I wish I could find the clip for this beautiful wedding ceremony of Maria and Captain Von Trapp to embed here. I always tear up when I watched this scene as soon as the organ started playing How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria. It’s one of the grandest processional ever and I LOVE the shot as Maria walks down the looong aisle towards the oh-so-dashing groom in uniform. You can listen to the music below as it’s really one of the best part about this scene.


3. Four Weddings & A Funeral

Just like my own wedding, things don’t always work out perfectly. But it’s the goofs and blunders that made it so memorable! I never forget this scene of Mr Bean, er Rowan Atkinson as Father Gerald who’s so nervous he kept flubbing the vows! I think my favorite part is when he said ‘johned’ instead of ‘joined’ and ‘awful’ instead of ‘lawful’ wedded wife. Classic!

4. Sense & Sensibility

I just had to put this here as you all know it’s one of my favorite films of ALL time. I mean after all the Dashwood sisters had to go through the entire movie, it’s just lovely to see both of them get their happy ending. Plus it’s always awesome to see Alan Rickman smiling gleefully as Col. Brandon finally got to marry the girl of his dreams. I adore Patrick Doyle’s music and it just adds to the delightfully jubilant scene down to the finale with Brandon tossing the coins as Willoughby watches from a distance. Living well truly is the best revenge.

5. Vicars of Dibley Christmas Special

I have got to include both the rehearsal and the wedding scene of this popular British sit-coms. I LOVE Dawn French, she’s just a hoot to watch. After officiating dozens and dozens of weddings, the town’s female vicar Geraldine finally gets to be the bride! And she’s not marrying just anyone, Harry Jasper Kennedy is played by none other than Richard Armitage. Nice to see his lighter side as he often plays such a serious, brooding roles. Oh and there’s Hugh Bonneville. Long before he became Earl of Grantham, he’s a regular in so many great British comedies and he’s such a hoot here as Geraldine’s fellow vicar Jeremy who has a crush on her. The whole supporting cast is just brilliant on this show.



6. License To Kill

The wedding might be jovial but the marriage itself, well, not so much. But hey, this wedding boast one of the most memorable groom arrival ever. Talk about a grand entrance! After successfully nabbing Sanchez, one of the most elusive criminals, Felix jumped out of an airplane on a parachute with sexy spy James Bond in tow!! Boy, I’d love to have Timothy Dalton looking dashing in a tux at my wedding [ooops, did I just say that out loud? Don’t tell Ivan ;)]

7. Bride & Prejudice

I didn’t mean to have two Jane Austen-related entry here but I can’t leave this one out! The Punjabis do weddings like nobody’s business, you’d be hard pressed to find a more festive celebration than this one. This is the moment when Lalita (aka Elizabeth Bennett) first meet her dashing Darcy, but it’s Balraj (aka Mr. Bingham) who stole the show as the Indian M.C. Hammer!

8. Spider-man 2

Ok, now this isn’t the kind of wedding I’d wish for on any groom, but a girl has to follow one’s heart! Unlike the classic ‘bride kidnapping’ scene in The Graduate, nobody steals Mary Jane from her astronaut groom. Everything seems to be going so well in the beautiful church, the wedding music is playing and the groom is beaming with happiness… but the bride never shows. Then we see Mary Jane in her gorgeous white dress running as fast as she could from the church to Peter Parker’s apartment.

“Isn’t it about time somebody saved your life?” – Mary Jane

It’s one of my favorite scenes in what remains to be my favorite Spider-man films!

9. My Best Friend’s Wedding

My favorite scene of the whole movie actually doesn’t involve the bride and groom. Julia Roberts’ Julianne didn’t succeed in snatching the groom after all and though she seems to have made her peace with that, she still feels somewhat left out. But thanks to her gorgeous BFF George (Rupert Everett, dashing as ever), she doesn’t have to feel that way for long. I LOVE how he surprises her at the reception and the way he suavely sashay into the room towards her as they speak on the phone.

10. My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Uniting two different cultures would inevitably make for an unconventional wedding and this film illustrates that in such a riotous fun. Nia Vardalos and John Corbett have a great chemistry together which is lovely to watch, but this scene is particularly memorable when Toula’s father Gus eventually gets over his disappointment that his daughter didn’t end up marrying a nice Greek boy. His speech just sums up the sentiment of mixed marriages perfectly.

Here tonight, we have, ah, apple and orange. We all different, but in the end, we all fruit.

Honorable mention:

Father of the Bride

It’s perhaps a cliche to include this scene as it’s in EVERY single wedding list, but hey, I guess it always get picked for a reason. Though I can’t quite relate to the premise as my own father was never really present in my life, let alone at my wedding, I still think it’s a heart-warming movie that truly illustrates a father’s love. Certainly one of Steve Martin’s best roles that he’d most be remembered for.

Hope you enjoy the list. Now feel free to supply your own picks of memorable movie weddings!