Thursday, September 28, 2006

Twenty-Five Miles

Song: Twenty-Five Miles
Artist: Edwin Star
Album: Adventures in Babysitting Soundtrack

"Adventures in Babysitting" is one of my favorite films of the 80's. A silly teen comedy that you would expect to come from John Hughes (As it is a teen comedy from the 80's, set in Chicago) but it is written by David Simkins, who has almost strictly worked in TV since, and directed, his first feature, by Chris Columbus, who went on to direct monster comedy hits "Home Alone 1 & 2," "Mrs. Doubtfire," and the first two "Harry Potter" films. It was the first major role for Elizabeth Shue (after "The Karate Kid") who has, as mentioned on Monday, done better and worse since.

The soundtrack is mostly made up of modern (for the time) blues, by the likes of Koko Taylor, Robert Kraft, Percy Sledge, Albert Collins, Muddy Waters, and Sam Cooke. "Twenty-Five Miles" by Edwin Starr is used in the climatic end scene when our heroin Chris (Shue) is trying to race home from downtown Chicago before the kids parents get there. The film uses the themes of the blues and how they correlate with Chris' plight with her no good boyfriend (a young Bradley Whitford) and no good girlfriend (then rising star Penelope Ann Miller.) The blues themselves almost become another character as Chris and the kids encounter situation after situation in the seedy dangerous downtown Chicago. "Twenty-Five Miles" is a great blues shuffle, perfect for the scene and perfect as an overview of tying the themes of the film alltogether.

The soundtrack is not commercially available here in the States, only in Japan. While it works where it is placed, one song that doesn't fit the blues feel in the film is the opening credits song, The Crystals "And Then He Kissed Me." It does work though, as it shows Chris as the love-struck teen, despite her responsible demeanor she is trying to convey and hold together throughout the rest of the movie.

I found the open on YouTube:

And also found this funny fan re-creation by a guy in a blonde wig:

As "Lazydork" mentions, Disney is planning on remaking the film starring Raven Symone of "The Cosby Show" and The Disney Channel's "That's So Raven" fame. Please feel free to begin to discuss how Hollywood has run out of ideas. I'll stick with the original.


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