Dear film directors of earnest romantic comedies:
You like classic and current indie, punk, and underground rock music. Fancy that, so do I! If you ever were to come over to my house to hang out, you are welcome to admire my concert posters and praise my record collection, and being the sap that I am, I will eat that shit up. But if you continue to use music I adore as a substitute in your film for genuinely felt emotions or real meaning, we may have to have it out “Rock of Love” style. Because I’m not a sap for that. Having interesting music in your “quirky” romantic comedy doesn’t distract me from the fact that it’s self-indulgent, maudlin, sexist, and cliched. It just makes me worry that favorite songs of mine are now tainted by association with your piece of crap movie.
Of course, I’m not against good music in movies as a rule. When “Adventureland” started off with “Bastards of Young” by the Replacements, I was happy with the choice, even if it verges on cliche. But it soon became obvious that the music was going to substitute for personality with the sad sack of a main character and the personality-less pretty girl he falls for, who is supposed to not be the Manic Pixie Dream Girl only by virtue of the fact that she’s too fucking dull and sad for that. But she like the Velvet Underground! And the New York Dolls! And Husker Du! And Big Star! And did I mention Lou Reed? She really likes Lou Reed, as does our hero, to the tune of hearing “Pale Blue Eyes” at least three separate times in the same movie, as if the director is not going to let you escape with your own memories of that song intact.
I am not falling for this, assholes. Your movie is boring, and the love affair made me hate love affairs. The romance scenes were like watching someone else’s labor video—sure, interesting for you, but for the rest of us, it lacks a certain element of surprise or interest. Coating it in a thick layer of Songs You Love isn’t going to distract me, and the people who are stupid enough to be distracted don’t know or love those songs in the first place. So kindly fuck off and leave the music be.
A Fan (Not Of Yours)
For another review, check out my fellow sufferer Punkass Marc.