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12 Feb 9:05am

Lady Bird, Dave Matthews Band and the films that give corny songs new life

The Guardian
Greta Gerwig’s penchant for 90s soft rock got Guardian writers thinking about other cheesy numbers revived in cinema, from Sweet Caroline to Rhythm of the Night Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, Lady Bird, has been polishing careers since its initial US release last November. Best known for starring in Roseanne, Laurie Metcalf has confessed that she’s exhausted by the attention she has garnered from playing Lady Bird’s stricken mother; the film has earned Saoirse Ronan her second Academy Award nomination for best actress (the first for Brooklyn in 2015); and put the cherry atop Timothée Chalamet’s Call Me By Your Name victory lap. But Lady Bird has also shone a light on an unlikelier recipient: namely the Dave Matthews Band and their 1997 single, Crash Into Me, which plays during two pivotal moments in the film. In its heyday, Crash Into Me didn’t want for commercial recognition. It reached No 19 in the Billboard Hot 100 and earned a nomination for best rock vocal group performance at the 1998 Grammys. Critics were less favourable, sneering at its banality – and by the time a hip new wave of bands including the Strokes, White Stripes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs redefined US rock at the turn of the millennium, soft-rockers such as Dave Matthews Band looked decidedly old hat. (Plus their crisp sheen had been a major beneficiary of the CD era, which was being shattered by P2P file sharing.)
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