500 Days Of Summer co-writer tells the LA Times that "every relationship has a soundtrack," and that said soundtrack holds clues to whether or not a couple will last. Bonding over The Smiths, he notes, is "not good." Uh-oh!
While I do agree, to a certain extent, that every relationship has a "soundtrack" of sorts, I find that most real relationship soundtracks don't match up to the darling pitch perfect ones selected for the twee movie couples of the moment: while movie soundtracks certainly convey mood and emotion through carefully selected tunes and lyrics, a real relationship soundtrack is often made up of accidental sentimentals, the kinds of songs that come into your life at random times in order to shape a specific memory.
My bf and I have been together for nearly ten years (and we both like The Smiths, oh no!) and we have similar, but thankfully not identical, tastes in music. However, if you asked me to compile a musical relationship soundtrack, it would probably consist of cringe-worthy songs that happened to be playing at specific moments: the Vengaboys "Sha La La," for example, an incredibly terrible song which haunted us everywhere we went the first time I visited his hometown in Ireland. It's not the kind of song I'd carry around on my iPod, but it would have a spot on the soundtrack, like it or not, because when I hear it, I'm reminded of how it stalked us across the entire country for a solid 2 weeks, and how funny we thought it was when we were 18 or so.
I think we'd all like to think that our soundtrack would be perfectly selected, movie style, but life doesn't really work that way. It actually irritates me, to be honest, when soundtracks take over a romantic film, as the calculation behind it makes love itself seem easily packaged. This is not to say that the Vengaboys should make an appearance (for the love of god, NO) in any Zooey Deschanel movie anytime soon, but a couple bonding over a certain band—even the Smiths—doesn't spell out true love or disaster as much as it spells out a mutual appreciation for a certain aesthetic. And while that's all well and good, it's not necessarily a completely honest assessment of any relationship.
Sometimes, though the movies would have you believe otherwise, the happiest memories are attached to songs that don't seem to go along with the overall picture. And though I'd be happy enough listening to the Smiths forever and the Vengaboys never, on the rare occasion that I do hear "Sha La La" it never fails to make me laugh. You can pick the people you choose to spend your time with, but I guess you can't always pick the soundtrack to your memories.
Feel free to list the soundtracks to your relationships—cringe-worthy jams and all—in the comments below.