Cinematic Love Songs

It’s often difficult, especially in February, to remember love is not solely a romantic term. The word may encompass any relationship whether it be a familial bond, a connection between friends, or the relation to one’s self. These songs and the varied contexts in which they appear in films celebrate the range of meanings and complications associated with the word love.

I Love You All by The Soronprfbs
Appears in: Frank
Frank follows the turmoil within an eccentric pop band. In the final scene, The Soronprfbs spontaneously develop their most sincere song “I Love You All.” With its odd but endearing phrases such as “cowpoke sequined mountain,” the song encapsulates the essence of the musicians’ relationships. This song and the scene surrounding it embrace peculiarity and enforce the film’s theme: your “tribe” can bring about your best self.

Heaven is a Place on Earth by Belinda Carlisle
Appears in: Black Mirror: "San Junipero"
Carlisle’s classic is the perfect backdrop to the final credits of this Black Mirror episode. Unlike typical episodes in the series which solely focus on the influence of technology in society, "San Junipero"’s primary focal point is that of the characters’ relationships and emotions. This tune enforces the upbeat, 80s-esque vibe of the story while conveying how the protagonists’ create their own “heaven” together.

Hiding Tonight by Alex Turner
Appears in: Submarine
It’s no wonder Alex Turner, with his characteristic moody imagery, was hired to compose the soundtrack for Submarine. The “firework” scene in this film portrays the epitome of the young romance. With this ballad by Arctic Monkeys’ frontman, this scene is the epitome of the greatest idyllic/romantic ambiance.

I Follow Rivers by Lykke Li
Appears in: Blue is the Warmest Color

Although lyrically “I Follow Rivers” concentrates on a romantic relationship, the scene in which this song appears glorifies self-love and understanding. The protagonist, Adéle, is at a party and as the song progresses, she becomes increasingly more comfortable and radiant. By the chorus, Adéle is dancing carelessly, smiling and laughing. This scene as well as the movie overall highlights the journey of accepting oneself and owning one’s feelings. After watching this bit once, you will forever associate this song with joy and positivity.

Come on Eileen by Dexy’s Midnight Runners
Appears in: Perks of Being a Wallflower

What’s a coming-of-age movie without the synchronized routine at a school dance? In Perks of Being a Wallflower, Sam and Patrick enact this iconic cliche to the classic “Come on Eileen.” As Charlie gazes at his classmates from afar, the lyrics themselves beckon him to “come on” and join his soon to be best friends. This song works in the scene to mark the point where lonely passivity yields to active socializing and enjoying the company of others.

Modern Love by David Bowie
Appears in: Frances Ha

Frances Ha is by far one of the most relatable films of the modern age. Young, homeless, and jobless Frances has no clue what to do or what the future might entail. In this scene that serves as one of the turning points in the movie, she accepts the messy confusion and begins to rejoice in her independence. Likewise, Bowie’s song acknowledges how difficult and misleading love can be, but in a lighthearted and almost satirical way.

Is This Sound Okay? by Coconut Records
Appears in: Palo Alto

Palo Alto-- the darker, more broody Dazed and Confused. This film is an ode to the seemingly meaningless complexities of teenage life. It’s a composite of every form of love and emotional state, making “Is This Sound Okay?” the anthem to youthful desire and uncertainty.

text: kailey boucher
visuals: accredited films
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