Soundtrack Review. Old Boyfriends
Old Boyfriends Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score Old Boyfriends by David Shire.
At a glance:
32 minutes of score
Geek Score: 94.5
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 22.32
Album Excellence: 70%
Buy or stream? Buy
Old Boyfriends is a 1979 American drama film directed by Joan Tewkesbury and starring Talia Shire, Keith Carradine, Richard Jordan and John Belushi. The story follows a female psychologists who takes a journey to her romantic past with three boyfriends played by Carradine, Jordan and John Belushi. Like chapters in her diary she goes through each one, looking for answers that might not be there for her to find. She needed to sort out her past to secure a healthy future. What’s interesting is that the composer David Shire was married to the film’s star Talia Shire at the time and was trying to create a romantic link between his wife and these three characters, men of her past on screen. Awkward? Perhaps, but the film and score received some praise in the reviews at the time. This score was supposed to be released in 1979, but ultimately it was dropped to the composers great disappointment. Now for the first time, Intrada finally released the score to great excitement.
‘Main Title’ opens with great gusto and fanfare in a frantic opening, one that you wouldn’t think a part of this movie, a romantic drama, but it’s quite dramatic as the main character’s life unravels in her dramatic journey back to her past. It’s a bit film-noir, a bit Bernard Herrmann over this opening main title. Love it though, it’s energetic and exciting. To thriller film noir to something far more romantic. ‘Love Scene: Dianne & Jeff’. Jeff Turrin (played by Richard Jordan) is the first “ghost” of the past that she visits and this music feels more like a romantic drama. The theme itself is good, but not great, still keeping it a bit distant and inside the world of film noir. I feel that there’s quite a bit of sadness here instilled inside the music. ‘Motel Mirror / To Minneapolis’ is a much more dramatic episode and goes a bit back to the opening theme with thriller music blaring out. This is actually my favourite part of the score so far. On to Eric Katz (played by John Belushi) and he’s apparently some kind of rock’n’roll artist, a performer at least and ‘Love Scene: Dianne & Eric’ reflects that with a cue inspired by pop starting with a nice motif on piano and then some pop percussion and finally saxophone. This I can definitely love. In the liner notes I read that it was sort of a romantic thriller and I can definitely hear that musically at least in almost all the cues on this score. There’s an undertone of drama and sadness which speaks to me. I find the romantic drama less appealing, but the love theme played on the violin in ‘Love Scene: Dianne & Wayne (Theme From Old Boyfriends)’ is appealing and beautiful to me. As it ends with ‘Jeff Returns / Finale’ I like the celebratory part in Finale, but also the darker undertones. The pop-inspired ‘End Title (Theme From Old Boyfriends)’ is also well worth taking in and enjoying. The theme is really good, and in this style it really works.
Old Boyfriends is a very enjoyable score, and the best part for me was the classic film noir Hermann-esque sequences, like we’re part of some intense thriller. This movie does have thriller elements, but I wasn’t expecting it to be so clear. The love theme/main theme is beautiful, particularly the violin version, but that’s clearly the best part of the romantic side of this score. The rest seems sad somehow, but still quite enjoyable to me.
1. Main Title
3. Motel Mirror / To Minneapolis
4. Love Scene: Dianne & Eric
5. To Luddington
8. Love Scene: Dianne & Wayne (Theme From Old Boyfriends)
9. The Return / The Bathtub / Housecleaning
10. Jeff Returns / Finale
11. End Title (Theme From Old Boyfriends)