My favorite part of most movies is the 2-5 minute scene when the main character, after facing some type of set back or frustration, sort of reinvents their life. Obviously it takes a lot longer in "real life" but these scenes usually cover the basics.
For example, in "Legally Blonde" Elle Woods, after finding her ex boyfriend engaged, decides to kick it into high gear and reinvent herself at Harvard Law School. Cue flashes of her buying a computer, going to the library, raising her hand in class, and studying her butt off (literally).
This is just one example of many. Others include "Pitch Perfect," "Remember the Titans," and even more recently, "How To Be Single."
But what I want to talk about specifically is the song choice in these scenes, and how that seemingly simple choice of media can have a drastic impact on how we interpret this scene. Stepping away from the Elle Woods (although I do love her spunk), lets look at a more serious song example.
In "Pitch Perfect" the song "Open Season" by the High Highs is played. Simple, a little sad, yet builds and grabs audience's attention without them realizing it. It provides the audience the ability to focus on the character and their improvements while starting slow and building to a faster pace. It also works to give an otherwise funny, light hearted comedy a few minutes to connect with people and give them the opportunity to relate to Becca (the main character) and root for her.
This song choice adds depth to a scene dedicated to healing, bettering, and moving on. It is another great example of the depth of the impact rhetoric has on us. If any other song had been used the sense of purpose this scene gives could have been lost.
It's important to note that songs and movies can have a significant impact on us. I look forward to the get-your-life-together scenes in movies and the songs tied to them, and often play them in my own life when I need to get going (typically during finals week).
Rhetoric is forever impacting us and shaping how we view and take in our world. It comes in surprising shapes and sizes - like Elle Woods - and impacts so many different types of people. Knowing the importance of rhetoric, it is crucial to know that a movie scene is never just a scene, and a song is never really just a song.