The movie industry is a major barometer for gauging the popularity of pop culture around the world today. Any major fashion fad or trend that gained popularity among the masses almost always originated in a famous movie scene. Remember how disco blew up in the 70s? Blame that on John Travolta and his hip-smashing moves in Saturday Night Fever. One these lines, karaoke has seen the occasional shout-out in popular movies. Let’s take a look at some notable karaoke scenes from famous movies.
Chris Tucker in “Rush Hour 2”
Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan play two cops whose Triad investigation takes them to a Hong Kong karaoke bar, where a singer is figuratively murdering the Michael Jackson classic “Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough.” Tucker cannot stand seeing his idol’s song being shred to pieces and instinctively grabs the mike to do his own spirited rendition. It’s interesting to note that Tucker was a real-life friend of Jackson’s and featured in the video for “You Rock My World,” another famous MJ hit.
Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan in “When Harry Met Sally”
In this iconic rom-com, Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan play two long-time friends who, as you guessed it, keep somehow running into one another and eventually end up falling for each other. During one of these meets, Harry tries to convince Sally to purchase a karaoke machine at an electronics store, which results in the two performing a hysterical version of “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top” from the musical “Oklahoma.”
Bill Murray in “Lost in Translation”
In a movie about a mismatched couple finding love in Tokyo, it is unsurprising that there would be a scene at a karaoke bar considering the city’s love for karaoke. Murray, playing an ageing Hollywood star shooting a commercial, is dragged into a party by a much younger girl, played by Scarlett Johansson, where he is made to sing a sombre version of “More Than This.” The magic of this scene is brought to light by how the song highlights the unrequited love between the pair.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt in “500 Days of Summer”
Being a half-decent singer does wonders for those karaoke nights when you want to impress the ladies. Thus was the case when Joseph Gordon-Levitt took the stage to perform the Pixies’ “Here comes the man” in an attempt to impress the beautiful and somewhat neurotic Summer, played by Zooey Deschanel. However, his musical tryst goes in vain, as she eventually ends up breaking his heart… or does she?
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