Every now and then I get a request to use one of my songs in a film. A few years back they asked to use “Let Me In A Little Bit” (from The Sugar Tree) in this new movie that starred Lili Taylor and Courtney Love. That sounded promising! And Liz Phair was doing a lot of the other music. Again, promising, sort of. The film was supposed to be about a suburban housewife (Lili Taylor) who goes back to school against her husband’s wishes, and then falls in love with a friend, played by Ms. Love. There wasn’t much money involved (is there ever?) but I said yes.
Then I heard the movie was at Sundance – some distinction, except of course any movie can be at Sundance, in the same way I can say I’ve played Vegas (a coffeehouse gig, far far away from the action).
Then I never heard of the movie again. I guess they didn’t find a distributor. How unfair, I thought. It’s probably a brilliant quirky little film that’s just too hard to market. I’d track it down when it came out on DVD.
I recently spotted the film on Amazon. I wanted a copy. I love Lili Taylor, have long been fascinated by Courtney, but mostly was looking forward to seeing how they used my song.
Well, it was kind of hard to make it all the way through the movie. It just isn’t very good. But hey, I still wanted to hear my song, maybe playing over some touching moment where one of the ladies is having second thoughts. Nothing.
We managed to stick it out until the music credits rolled. (One more punishment for being a musician: even the animal trainer gets to see their name up on the screen before most of the audience has left, but the song publishing info gets shoved to the very end). Sure enough, there was the song title and my name. But where was the song? I was torn between relief and disappointment.
Is having a song in a bad movie better than having no song in a good movie? Does it count if you can’t hear the song? Is is even worth mentioning? I’m still not sure.
If anyone’s interested, I know where you can get a copy of “Julie Johnson.” Only watched once.