#2. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Benjamin Button tells a classic story. Boy meets girl, but boy is actually an old man aging backward who travels the world until he ends up a baby with his lover. Isn't that romantic/upsetting?
Is Benjamin Button a bad movie? Well, y'know, I think director David Fincher and stars Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett made the absolute best movie out a terrible, terrible idea. But we're not awarding points for effort. It's just something that would be better off if it didn't exist, like a puppy that can piss hydrochloric acid or Ghostbusters 3.
But Benjamin Button is precisely the kind of terrible idea that lends itself to song. Big dramatic love. Unusual circumstances. So much to work with. Who could write such beautiful love songs without fear of being absolutely ridiculous?
KATE BUSH COULD DO IT!
For those of you who don't know Kate Bush, I'm sorry. She's a bigger deal in the U.K. In America, she's mostly known for "Running Up That Hill" and that duet with Peter Gabriel, but she's just the best. Her first big hit was a song based on Wuthering Heights, so you know she's comfortable adapting heavy stuff. But she's also not afraid to tackle strange topics. Whether it's menstruation or computer isolation in a pre-Internet age, she'll sing about anything. Oh, and did I mention she has a love song told from the perspective of a nanny romantically in love with an infant?
I've spent most of my life wondering whether Tron is a good bad movie or a bad good movie. Much like Cracked's Felix Clay's ability to secure gainful employment, it's a mystery we may never solve. But we do know a few things about Tron. It's big and bright and incredibly stupid and fun. A computer programmer gets sucked into his own video game universe and must team up with the hero of his video game to win back power from Master Control. Whatever. That's not important. The plot? Not important. It was the '80s. The same decade where Andrew Lloyd Webber had a musical that looked a lot like Tron, called Starlight Express.
Picture these guys on roller skates. It was a lot like that.
I can picture dudes on skates with ribbons of color trailing behind them to create the iconic car race scene, but who should do the music? For my money, Tron is about a time in the '80s where everything was electric neon shiny and new. The music needs to have some high drama, as any play-for-the-stakes musical should, but it should also be disposable, synthetic, and fun. Lots of early-'80s bands fit that description, but one rises to the top.
Although Norwegian superstars, the band A-Ha are pretty much one-hit wonders in the U.S., but what a hit it was. "Take on Me" is everything that's horrible and wonderful about the early '80s at the same time. And look at their iconic video that kind of even has bad guys who look like they come from Tron.
It could work. Also, honorable mention to Alphaville as back-up choice.
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