Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters sing “Tonight You Belong to Me,” on the beach. Lovely song, though Martin makes only the vaguest attempt to suggest he’s actually playing. A bonus on the DVD is ukulele chanteuse Janet Klein teaching you to play it, but to accompany the movie you need to be tuned in D, and also capo 3! (Why not just capo 5 an ordinary C-tuned uke, Janet?) The chords are also not all easy, and I’d recommend this version instead.
Elvis wiggles about while holding a ukulele in a couple of numbers, but I’m not convinced he’s actually playing it. He does, however, wear adorable little white shorts for most of the movie. This makes up for the plot, which is the usual hackneyed “boy avoids becoming pineapple farmer while fending off underage vixens.”
Purple Rose of Cairo
Jeff Daniels sings surprisingly well and plays piano (“Alabamy Bound” and “I Love My Baby”) while Mia Farrow accompanies on the uke. It’s a sweet scene. —My other ambition in life is to be a great classical violinist. Thousands cheering me, night after night…
— I can play the ukulele.
Some Like It Hot
Marilyn Monroe. Ukulele. Say no more. She sings “Running Wild.”
In one scene, the main character walks into a church and chats with a fellow wearing overalls, who’s strumming a ukulele. It’s in fact Guy Forsyth, playing “True ” from his album “Can You Live
Without.” A nice song, but can you sit through that wobbly gabfest again just to see it?
The ukulele is very popular in Japan, and this tale of motorcycle chases and yakuza finger-chopping would have been enlivened if star Michael Douglas had stopped to strum a tune once and a while. But sadly, he did not. A poor directorial choice.
With as much ukulele as all the above combined, and Jim Beloff involved, this would be a showcase for the instrument, right? Well, the acting, script, lighting, sound, and plot are all kind of cheesy. But the biggest problem for me was the ukulele-playing lead: he’s E. B. Farnham off Deadwood, same voice and all! It was too creepy. I kept imagining Al Swearengen rampaging through the old folks’ home. Now even Deadwood has been spoiled, because I’ll keep waiting for E. B. to break into song. Good thing I already saw season two.
50 First Dates
Apparently there’s ukulele playing here, at least according to the movie poster, but someone who can stand Adam Sandler would have to watch it and find out. Yes, he’s played ukulele in a number of movies, and no, I have no intention of watching any of them.
Joe vs the Volcano
What goes for Adam Sandler goes double for Tom Hanks. I know this movie has been called “surprisingly not loathsome, despite starring Tom Hanks.” But that man gives me hives.