Someone more important than I once said something about "music being the food of love". And I'd say that's probably true. Music always adds to a moment; it doesn't matter if it's sad or happy or whatever, it works. And filmmakers know this. Here are five movie moments that were enhanced by diagetic/non-diagetic (on/off-screen) music.
When I think about the way music is used in movies, this scene is the one that pops up in my head immediately. Even though it's short and the audience doesn't really hear the whole song, we get a beautiful, quiet moment between Natalie Portman and Zach Braff's character. While he has the headphones on, we enter his headspace and we see Portman's character through his eyes. It's an important moment in the film and you could argue that it's what started their relationship. And there's something inherently romantic about sharing your music with someone else.
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist
This whole movie is one giant music video. But that doesn't make the ending of the film any less powerful. After the conflict of the scene, the sound from the scene starts to drown out while the song in the background sets the tone for the audience. It ebbs and flows with them, the scene is edited perfectly with the song; it hits all the right emotional beats and reflects the events that are happening on screen. It's hard not to feel a little bit romantic Norah kisses Nick on the escalator right as the music kicks back in.
This scene is great because it captures something so subtle in just a couple of minutes. The romantic part about this scene for me isn't in the way Jesse Eisenberg's character kisses Kristen Stewart's at the end of it. It's the way he looks at her as Pale Blue Eyes plays on the car stereo. I can recall numerous occasions where the song on the stereo matched the way I was feeling about the person I was in the car with. There's something magical about these moments and Adventureland depicts it perfectly.
Okay, okay, so Blue Valentine as a whole is a sad movie. But if you divorce the scene above from the rest of the film, you get a very intimate moment shared between two people in the early goings of their relationship. Ryan Gosling's character is furtive and nervous about singing to Michelle Williams' character. And when he does you can really feel the surprise coming from Williams. It's a sweet and delicate moment made beautiful with music.
Her is probably one of the best romantic movies I've seen in the past 5 years. It's a little heartbreaking at the end but the relationship that blossoms is nothing short of believable and beautiful. Above is one of the more touching moments of the film. Joaquin Phoenix's character is, essentially, dating his phone's Operating System and in context of the film, they write a beautiful song together. And the song perfectly reflects the way these two characters feel about each other.