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Movies that should be released as sing-alongs

By Steve Spears, Times Staff Writer

Suggest a Top 5 at

Top 5 weekend movies Dollar amounts in millions

Inception, $60.4

Despicable Me, $32.7

The Sorcerer's Apprentice, $17.4

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, $13.5

Toy Story 3, $11.7


Top 5 prime-time TV shows

America's Got Talent — Wednesday (NBC)

America's Got Talent — Tuesday (NBC)


The Bachelorette (ABC)

Wipeout (ABC)

Source: Nielsen Co., for week ending July 11

Top 5 songs on iTunes

Love the Way You Lie, Eminem (feat. Rihanna)

Dynamite, Taio Cruz

California Gurls, Katy Perry (feat. Snoop Dogg)

I Like It, Enrique Iglesias (feat. Pitbull)

Cooler Than Me (Single Mix), Mike Posner

Source: iTunes Music Store

Top 5 Yahoo search terms in Tampa Bay

China UFO

Alexa Ray Joel

Melissa Gilbert

Diet pills

Tiger Woods


In the pantheon of bad singing decisions, there stand three moments of shameless vocal opportunity that all mortal beings should avoid. A drunken, karaoke version of Garth Brook's Friends in Low Places. The preening caterwauling of the national anthem at a Super Bowl. And any sing-along attempt at You're the One That I Want from the Grease soundtrack. Oh, you're chafing at that last pick, but unless you studied at Juilliard, the pacing is all wrong. You can't sing fast enough to keep up with the chorus, no matter how hard you try. ("Oo, oo, oo … honey!") Stop it! You sound like a chimpanzee! That being said, I absolutely insist that you get behind the growing movement to bring the sing-along version of the beloved 1978 musical to Tampa Bay. Right now, Tampa is third in a national race to bring sing-along Grease to local theaters. You can help out by going to and adding your name to the list. Your inner T-Bird or Pink Lady demands it! While we remain hopelessly devoted to Danny and Sandy, here are five other movies that should be released as sing-alongs.

1. SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952): Remember when Hollywood could make cheesy movies … and we loved them anyway? It was a magical time called the 1950s. (Google it!) Generations were bewitched by this Gene Kelly/Debbie Reynolds/Donald O'Connor classic. Not so much for Kelly's line reading — "From where I'm standing, the sun is shining all over the place" … awwwww — but for his signature song-and-dance scene with the greatest dance partner ever: an umbrella.

2. FUNNY GIRL (1968): So many Barbra Streisand flicks could make the list. But I lean toward this classic, mainly because I know everyone loves singing, "Don't tell me not to live, just sit and putter. Life's candy and the sun's a ball of butta!" Thanks to Lea Michele's version on Fox's Glee, chances are you still have Don't Rain on My Parade swimming around your head. (If not, you do now!)

3. JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (1973): Mary Magdalene didn't know how to love him, and Herod urged him to "prove to me that you're no fool; walk across my swimming pool." Add Carl Anderson's Judas raising the roof with the title song and you have — literally — a sing-along revival. Disciples don't buy tickets at the box office; they just pass the collection plate.

4. SOUTH PARK: BIGGER LONGER & UNCUT (1999): Yes, there are many, MANY songs here you can't/shouldn't sing in public ever. But you want to anyway. Entertainment Weekly, despite counting 146 F-bombs in it, still names this feature-length cartoon as its eighth-best musical of all time. The family-safer Blame Canada was even nominated for an Oscar. (Secretly you're singing along to the other "classic" by Terrance & Phillip now, aren't you?)

5. MAMMA MIA! (2008): There's no hiding this fact: ABBA is the saturated fat of pop music. So horribly bad for you, but you crave it nonetheless. (Come to think of it, a Big Mac and a glass of Waterloo would really hit the spot right now.) This entire musical was created with the sole purpose of getting an audience on its feet, the story a mere vessel to serve up the greatest hits of Björn, Benny and Co. And let's face it, we can ALL sing better than Pierce Brosnan.

Times film critic Steve Persall contributed.

These are NOT the ones that we want

Here are five movies that need to avoid sing-along status at all costs:

1. Grease 2 (1982): Maxwell Caulfield and Michelle Pfeiffer sing about bowling and sex education. Need I say more?

2. Paint Your Wagon (1969): Who knows the words to Hand Me Down That Can o' Beans?

3. Can't Stop The Music (1980): The best thing about this semibiographical flick about the Village People? Co-star Steve Guttenberg doesn't sing.

4. Yentl (1983): If you really want to sing along to a movie with cross-dressing, we direct you to 1994's The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

5. Fiddler on the Roof (1971): Aside from an exhausting three-hour running time, nobody but Topol can shimmy properly to If I Were a Rich Man.

Movies that should be released as sing-alongs 07/18/10 [Last modified: Sunday, July 18, 2010 8:59pm]
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