Day 4: A song you like from a movie soundtrack

“I’m Falling” — The Comsat Angels*

I can hear you already: “Who the hell are The Comsat Angels, and what movie is this from, anyway?”

By now, my somewhat warped sense of humor should be coming through, and I’m proud to say that it was influenced by the movie Real Genius. This 1985 movie starred Val Kilmer, and was wedged between his roles in Top Secret! and Top Gun. It’s a brilliantly funny movie that bombed in theaters, but became something of a cult classic later. Maybe if they called it Top Genius it would have gotten more attention and box office?

The 80s had its share of college-themed comedies. Animal House (yes, I know, actually the 70s but I lump it into this category anyway), Revenge of the Nerds, and this film among them. While Animal House was over the top, and Revenge of the Nerds caricaturish and completely implausible (see this video for a more likely version of events), Real Genius, although a farce, was more in line with the people I knew. Weird and awkward, yes, but not wearing pocket protectors and ties. (Well, everyone in my high school wore ties, but that’s a different story.) It would hit even closer to home when I went to college. I knew people like this.

Comsat Angels – “I’m Falling”

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Admittedly, I’m a geek, so the fact that Real Genius handled smart people as people and not stereotypes was refreshing. And they were funny. For instance:

Chris Knight: Kent puts his name on his license plate.
Mitch: My mom does the same thing to my underwear.
Chris Knight: Your mom puts license plates in your underwear? How do you sit?
Mitch: You know, um, something strange happened to me this morning…
Chris Knight: Was it a dream where you see yourself standing in sort of sun-god robes on a pyramid with a thousand naked women screaming and throwing little pickles at you?
Mitch: No…
Chris Knight: Why am I the only one who has that dream?

It is an 80s movie, so it does have the requisite montage sequence, during which “I’m Falling” played. This particular montage was about people “cracking down” and all the various activities that take place as they gear up towards the end of the year, including one guy just completely losing it and screaming while everyone in the room simply continues to study as if nothing is going on.

No, I’d never heard of this band before, and before the movie, had never heard the song, but it has a vibe to it that fit the scene perfectly, at least in my opinion. And after you watch a movie several dozen times (I’m not joking) the songs seem to stick in your head a bit.

Alas, no soundtrack album for Real Genius was ever released, so getting the music is an exercise in research and hard work. (I started looking for the songs on Napster! Remember Napster? I guess it didn’t turn out to be the downfall of modern civilization.) But with some perseverance it can be done. Heck, as you can see I couldn’t even find a mainstream link to this song to include in the post.

In that vein, at some point I had also found and downloaded an album by The Comsat Angels. “How was it?” you ask? Well, let’s just say that “I’m Falling” is the only Comsat Angels on my iPod right now and leave it at that, shall we?

Oh and one last quote, which I often repeat:

Professor Hathaway: You still run?
Chris Knight: Only when chased.
* This is another instance where the song I’m writing about is not the song that I chose the first time around. That was “Think” by Aretha Franklin in The Blues Brothers. Great song; great movie. But this song seems to gel with the movie more than “Think” which is more of a performance piece in that film.