OA: Samantha Stiles Column January 02, 2009

On cold days, a great soundtrack warms me

Sometimes, when it’s really cold outside and my car won’t warm up, I just sit there and say “crap, crap, crap” a million times over.

It doesn’t really do anything, but I feel better.

After I went to see “Slumdog Millionaire” with my mom last weekend, we got into the cold car to drive home.

And instead of sitting there saying “crap, crap, crap,” we sat there and said, “that was a good movie.”

We couldn’t even muster up reasons why it was so good, it just was, and I’m a person of few words when I’m focusing on being warm.

With the holidays came a plethora of new movies.

I’m sure the Regal was a happening place last weekend. You’d think they served beer from the fountains and not pop.

What I like even more than a good movie is a good movie with a great soundtrack. “Slumdog Millionaire” delivers.

The film is both humorous and heartbreaking, often at the same time. Set mostly in Mumbai, India, the plot focuses mainly on a slum kid named Jamal. Flashbacks of his childhood are mixed with questions on the India TV version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”

The majority of the soundtrack is by A.R. Rahman, a composer whose songs you’ve probably heard but just didn’t know who wrote them. Also making an appearance is M.I.A., someone who is more familiar in the states.

Her song “Paper Planes” and “Boyz” are equally popular with the indie crowd and clubgoers.

If you’re a fan of Bollywood films, Rahman’s work will be recognizable. According to his own Web site, he’s redefined contemporary Indian music. I don’t doubt that. Time magazine called him the “Mozart of Madras.”

The score was as colorful as the film’s scenery. It popped in every sense of the word.

“Yes Man” starring Jim Carrey as Carl has a musical surprise in it as well.

Zooey Deschanel plays Allison, Carl’s love interest. To my utter delight she also sings in the movie. Maybe you remember her singing in the shower in “Elf.”

At this point, Deschanel is no stranger to the music industry, the self-titled album from her and M. Ward’s newly formed duo She & Him made it on more top 10 lists of 2008 than I can count.

Unlike Scarlett Johansson, Deschanel’s foray into the music business did not bomb and most
definitely lived up to the hype.

In “Yes Man,” Deschanel plays a quirky jogging photographer and singer in indie band Von Iva.

Von Iva is a real all-girl band in San Francisco. In the movie, the members of Von Iva wear these great costumes and crazy hats that look like seahorse heads and play to a total of six or so friends.

I’ve been to more than my fair share of shows that turn out that way: Six friends really digging everything that’s going on stage.

I’d go see the movie again just to see the band scenes.

Rolling Stone and Spin magazines reported this week that Deschanel is now engaged to Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie fame.

I couldn’t be more excited for two people I don’t know. It’s like when Jim proposed to Pam on “The Office.”

Please let it be true, please let it be true.


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