As an avid movie fan, I have always enjoyed listening to soundtracks. They add an extra element to the story and allow viewers to connect with the characters and the story. Music can trigger memories and emotions that help enhance our overall filmgoing experience. Film soundtracks reach their peak in the eighties and nineties where nearly every film featured original music. Some of it wasn’t that great (I’m looking at you, “Bat Dance), but the majority of music was just as iconic as the films themselves. Songs like “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing,” and the entire soundtrack to The Bodyguard have transcended their celluloid counterparts to become famous on their own.
Unfortunately, the popularity and production of movie soundtracks has dwindled thanks to a shift in public interest and distribution of music. In 2018, the movie soundtrack made a comeback thanks to the wildly popular, Oscar winning song “Shallow” from A Star is Born.
One of my favorite movie songs is Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away,” from Top Gun. There is so much good music in this film, but “Take my Breath Away,” operates on a completely different level. To me, it is one of the best love songs of all time.
During my journey through draft three of my novel, I have been thinking a lot about love songs. I searched through Spotify to find love songs that I thought exemplified the romance in my novel and “Take My Breath Away,” was the perfect choice.
It is a song that speaks of deep longing between two people who are kept apart my circumstance. This interpretation is corroborated by Top Gun which features a “forbidden” romance between Maverick (Tom Cruise) a US Navy pilot and Charlie (Kelly McGillis), a Top Gun instructor. Thanks to their respective positions, Maverick and Charlie have to keep their relationship secret for a period of time.
This is a similar situation to the ones my protagonists find themselves in. They have responsibilities to uphold and a romance would only get them in trouble. And yet, there is a connection between them, similar to the connection between Maverick and Charlie, that cannot be ignored.
Sometimes, I imagine what kind of love song would be written for my novel if it was ever adapted for the big screen. But until then, I will just declare “Take My Breath Away” as my novel’s unofficial anthem.
Fun fact about Berlin’s front woman Terri Nunn. She auditioned for the role of Princess Leia in Star Wars. Clips from her audition can be seen in the making of documentary Empire of Dreams.