Greatest Musical Moments in Film #2: Teen Movie Edition

I had so much fun coming up with a list of greatest musical moments in film that I couldn’t resist penning a follow up article. Growing up, we all had our favourite teen movies that we loved. There’s something about coming-of-age movies that keeps us going back for more. We see ourselves in the characters onscreen and identify with being the geek, the cool kid, the outcast, the rebel. Then there is the fashion, the cute actors, the endlessly quotable lines and of course the music. Here are 5 more musical moments that made us laugh, cry and swoon at the complexities and hurdles of teenage life.

10 Things I Hate About You

Brimming with whip smart one-liners, strong layered performances and starring future heartthrobs Heath Ledger and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, this modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew is one of my favourite 90s teen flicks. Seeking to make up to headstrong Katarina Stratford after a quarrel, high school rebel Patrick Verona serenades her during football practice with a cover of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” complete with a marching band accompaniment. He pulls off the performance with charm and aplomb, deftly avoiding campus police officers as he prances around and revealing an impressive set of pipes in the process. If this scene doesn’t melt your heart, I don’t know what will. Altogether now, “awwwww”.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Faking illness, outsmarting discipline masters and playing hooky from school. Ah, to be a carefree teenager again. John Hughes captures the free spiritedness of being 18 in this classic 80s teen movie about the importance of taking it easy and enjoying life. Here, the titular character Ferris lip syncs and dances to “Twist and Shout” by The Beatles on a parade float in the middle of downtown Chicago. It’s an awesome scene and looks like it was super fun to film, with everyone singing and dancing and generally having a blast. It’s impossible to watch this and not have a smile on your face by the end.


This 2007 breakout hit about a pregnant teenager boasts a smart script, quirky characters and an indie twee pop soundtrack. Its charming hand-drawn aesthetic and feel, from the rotoscoped opening sequence to the snappy dialogue, quickly endeared it to hipsters who flocked in droves to see it at the theatres. In the final scene, Ellen Page and Michael Cera sit on a porch and duet on a cover of The Moldy Peaches’ “Anyone Else But You”, ending the movie on a sweet note.

Pretty In Pink

You knew it was coming. This list ain’t worth nothin’ without the inclusion of the beloved Brat Pack film. It’s a classic scenario: sweet outcast Duckie Dale is secretly in love with his best friend, fellow stylish outcast Andie Walsh who only has eyes for rich boy Blane McDonough. The final scene with Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark’s “If You Leave” might have been the film’s most swoon-worthy one, but Duckie’s passionate freakout to Otis Redding’s “Try A Little Tenderness” wins for being all heart and soul. Sadly after standing by her, Andie still chose Blane in the end. Definitely a case of the guy who didn’t get the girl.

Dazed and Confused

Richard Linklater’s 1993 film about the last day of high school in the summer of 1976 epitomizes the easygoing stoner culture of the 70s. It featured an ensemble cast that included Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck, Parker Posey, Milla Jovovich and Adam Goldberg, who would later go on to have successful careers. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always wanted to toss my books and files in the air like the kids in this scene while “School’s Out” by Alice Cooper plays in the background. The school empties out as everyone makes a dash for the exit, meeting up with friends for one last get together and piling into pick up trucks in anticipation of a summer of freedom.