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From Page to Screen: Lemonade Mouth (Plus: The Music in Me)

April 15th, 2011 (10:25 pm)

Current Mood: thirsty
Current Song: Somebody from Lemonade Mouth

Question: What if The Breakfast Club had had instruments?
Answer: Then they would be Lemonade Mouth.

Lemonade Mouth, Mark Peter Hughes' YA novel about a teenage band, has been made into a Disney Channel original movie (also known as a D-COM - and if you knew that, then you've should admit that you've seen your fair share of the popular network's made-for-television movies!) Since I enjoyed the novel, I checked out the movie when it debuted this evening. ...though I will have to catch the second half when it re-airs, because Fringe claimed the 9 PM timeslot.

First things first: Whether or not you've see the new film, please check out the books. Lemonade Mouth is actually a companion to Hughes' first YA novel, I Am the Wallpaper. Wallpaper's protagonist, Floey, is not a member of Lemonade Mouth. If you want to find out how the books are connected, you're simply going to have to read them! The novels differ in narrative style: While the story of Wallpaper is related in first-person diary entries, Lemonade Mouth has five narrators, with each of the band members chiming in. The books are targeted to readers ages 12 and up.

A few random thoughts about the film as I watch it:
The movie changed some of the characters' appearances and last names.
Scenes with songs make me tap my foot.
Scenes with an elderly cat make me want to cry.
Will they do the haircutting scene? We shall see.

The music in me:

I am a singer and a songwriter. I hear music everywhere, just as I see words and numbers everywhere. If I'm not singing out loud or listening to music that others can hear (meaning recorded music coming out of speakers or people playing live instruments), then there's still music playing in my head.

When I start spontaneously singing - which I do every single day, creating songs off of the top of my head - talented people with instruments and the ability to read my mind and play the music and sing the lyrics and harmonies that I'm thinking of do not instantly appear -- but I wish they did. They certainly did this in the Lemonade Mouth film. Without sheet music, without lyrics scribbled on a piece of paper, everyone just started singing and playing along. Yes, talented people who can sense musical progressions and the tendencies of their singers and/or other band members can do this. These are the things jam sessions and songwriting sessions are made of, yes. Note the a difference between this instant song phenomenon and someone bursting into song in a (traditional) musical, when the characters are expressing something through music while the orchestra is (typically) hidden from view, and the audience understands how the musical format works. I'd be happy to have both, to be constantly creating and sharing music.

I'm happy that I always have a song in my head and in my heart. It's my personal playlist. It's always on, it's set to shuffle, and the volume is just right.

Related posts at Bildungsroman:
Dear Diary Booklist
Multiple Narrators Booklist
From Page to Screen: When books become movies
Playlists (many of which are related to or inspired by books)


Posted by: Laura McCarthy (lalam)
Posted at: April 16th, 2011 09:46 pm (UTC)

I loved this movie. Mark Peter Hughes is a local author and he's coming to the library that I help with the teens. We're very excited to meet him and hear about the making of the movie!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: April 16th, 2011 11:16 pm (UTC)

Fantastic! Have a wonderful visit. Hope the kids enjoy the books!

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