Opinion

Sing me a classic movie

By James Bennett

A movie can be based on a book, real events, a TV show, a video game or even a theme park ride.

Hollywood is starting to remake films that don’t need to be remade, which means they’re running out of source material because they’ve lost originality.

So it begs the question: why haven’t we ever seen a movie based on a song?

I’m talking songs that are literally the plot.

This doesn't count theme songs like Ghostbusters or compositions created to tell a story such as Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf.

I don't know one movie based off a song that details its own plot.

I’m 26, went to school for 13 years, then uni and am currently employed, which means I’ve had the unfortunate fate not to see every movie ever made, so I could be wrong.

A song that is made into a movie must have a decent story to it.

The obvious example is Barry Manilow's Copacabana.

I know the characters, where they danced, the show, why the punch was on and how the Copa became a disco.

I’d tell you more, but I don’t want to ruin the ending for you.

Is that the problem though?

Someone will say to you, "Hey bud, do you want to see Copacabana this weekend?”, and the response would be "Nah bro, I heard the song a thousand times, so I already know what happens".

But I’ll debunk that theory, professor know-it-all, by adding that Harry Potter wouldn’t have been so successful if that was the case.

Although if we're being honest, listening to a three-minute song is easier than reading a 600-page book to understand the plot of a movie.

Copacabana would have drama, sex and action — everything that's needed for a great film.

And, how good would it be to see Mr Manilow sing the title song to the movie at the end for that hit of nostalgia?

You've sat through an Oscar-worthy film, only to have it played out again.

But Copacabana isn’t the only song that could be turned into a movie.

The easiest to convert has to be Weird Al Yankovic’s Biggest Ball of Twine In Minnesota.

It’s a six-and-a-bit minute masterpiece and because Weird Al sings quite quickly there is so much source material.

This has to be the easiest song to turn into a film because the lyrics already draw you into the characters and the plot.

A harder one would be Return to Sender by Elvis Presley or Sk8er Boi by Avril Lavigne because they're shorter and there's not as much detail but still enough to have a decent crack.

AC/DC has a few including Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap and Jailbreak.

This is one of those rare occasions both songs could be combined into one film or, heck, even a TV series.

I'd imagine someone could dissect American Pie by Don McLean. And definitely Heart's All I Want to Do Is Make Love to You.

Because this style of film producing hasn't been done before, or at least for many years, it would be something new for movie audiences.

Essentially, it's expanding on the source material and adding creative flair to produce a 90-minute run time.

If it doesn't work, that's fine. Movies have been based on video games and they are usually terrible but they still get made. Yes, I'm looking at you Super Mario Bros.

You're probably wondering what movie is based on a theme park ride; well, none other than Pirates of the Caribbean — and look how successful that franchise is.

There's easily enough songs out there, so could someone at least attempt to create one big-budget film from one of them?

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