20th Century Fox via Everett Collection
There are certain songs that transport you back to movie scenes as soon as you hear them. Sometimes that makes you feel warm inside, sometimes it inspires you, and other times it gives you the willies. We’re taking a look at the songs that we can’t help but associate with the big screen, toucing on the greatest inspirational songs in films and the creepiest uses of pop songs in movies. Here, though, we take a look at the songs in movie scenes that touched our romantic hearts.
“Unchained Melody” in Ghost
“Oh, my love… My darling… I’ve hungered for your touch…” The song was a hit for The Righteous Brothers long before the movie was made, but ever since that opening line and Bobby Hatfield’s falsetto can only mean one thing… Demi Moore, Patrick Swayze and a pottery wheel.
“Must’ve Been Love” in Pretty Woman
Roxette’s hit from the Julia Roberts film still calls to mind a tangle of red curls looking hopefully out of the back window of a limousine and a sadly dapper Richard Gere looking forlornly from his balcony.
“You Make My Dreams” in (500) Days of Summer
It wasn’t the first time that Hall & Oates song was used in a movie, but just try playing it now without thinking about Joseph Gordon-Levitt happily dancing down the street after his hook-up with Zooey Deschanel.
“Can You Feel the Love Tonight” in The Lion King
Yes, it’s a Disney movie, but it’s also Elton John. The song is so linked to the image of lions falling in love that Sir Elton frequently plays the animated clip on screen when he sings it in concert.
“Falling Slowly” in Once
Even if it hadn’t subsequently become the centerpiece of the Tony-winning Broadway musical version, the duet by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová in John Carney’s movie would still be just as sweet.
“Iris” in City of Angels
The movie about Nicolas Cage’s angel who falls in love with Meg Ryan’s mortal would probably have faded from memory entirely if not for John Rzeznik’s plaintive voice on The Goo Goo Dolls hit.
“When You Say Nothing at All” in Notting Hill
Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts climb over a fence to wander in an English garden. As they share a moment, Ronan Keating’s version of the country song plays and suddenly they’re the only two people in the world.
“(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” in Dirty Dancing
When Jennifer Warren sang with Joe Cocker for An Officer and a Gentleman, only the instrumental version of their “Up Where We Belong” played over the climactic scene (similar to Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” from Titanic). In Dirty Dancing, however, Warren’s duet with Bill Medley is front and center as Swayze pulls Jennifer Grey’s Baby out of the corner.
“I Will Always Love You” in The Bodyguard
Regardless of what you think of her acting, Whitney Houston could sing. We’re not sure that we would stop a plane to go kiss Kevin Costner, but we’ll watch it all day if we can hear the song and Houston’s amazing voice again.
“In Your Eyes” in Say Anything…
According to both parties, John Cusack lobbied director Cameron Crowe to have a Fishbone song playing as his lovesick Lloyd Dobler held his boombox aloft to get Ione Skye’s attention. Thankfully, Crowe opted to keep the Peter Gabriel classic.