The best thing about our list of the nine greatest karaoke scenes in movies? That the scenes we've chosen are not only fun to watch, but they can also provide helpful hints to real-world karaoke singers (even those who happen to be movie stars).
From the sincere crooning in "Duets" and Chris Tucker's committed Michael Jackson cover in "Rush Hour 2" to Hilary Swank's sexy Prince jam in "P.S. I Love You" and the deliciously over-the-top performance of our number one pick, these are some movie karaoke moments that might just inspire you to rock the mic yourself.
9. Andre Braugher and Paul Giamatti in 'Duets' (2000)
The whole movie's about karaoke, so of course, we had to include one of its many karaoke performances to get this list started. Do we still giggle a bit at the mere idea of a plot that revolves around Huey Lewis as a road-tripping karaoke hustler? Yeah (come on, the term "karaoke hustler"?). But there's nothing funny, and a lot completely delightful, about Braugher and Giamatti's singing "Try a Little Tenderness." In karaoke, there are several ways to wow with your performance, and sincerity is one of those ways. These "Duet" dudes? They've got it (plus pretty good voices, too).
He's a fired janitor, and she's the spoiled daughter of his wealthy boss. Why are they doing karaoke? He kidnapped her, and their performance of "Beyond the Sea" takes place when she, bored with her life, decides to go along with the 'napping. She's fully embracing it at the bar where they enthusiastically sing (and dance) while posing as newlyweds. And this brings us to karaoke method No. 2: If you haven't got the vocal chops (and Diaz, especially, does not), enthusiasm can sell a bill of goods when your voice can't.
See, enthusiasm. Chris Tucker is no Michael Jackson, nor even a reasonably talented MJ impersonator; but he tackles "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" with enough zeal, and sincere attempts at Jacko dance moves, that his karaoke performance is pure entertainment. And those ladies in the club sure seem to dig his action.
Uptight woman (Hilary Swank), raucous party guy man (Gerard Butler) ... It's soooo chick flick-y to have him dare her -- bet her $200, actually -- to get up and perform a bit of karaoke in a crowded bar. But Swank's Holly takes it one step further by hiking up her shirt, lowering her skirt and belting out Prince's naughty "Gett Off" with a sexy dance to boot. Well, it was sexy, until she tripped over those mic wires. Still, an A for effort!
5. Bill Murray in 'Lost in Translation' (2003)
Bill Murray singing Roxy Music? As if we need say more. But we will. This rocks. Because as funny as Murray is, he is exactly that great when he turns it around for the drama. We're not saying his voice is great, but there could have been no better way to show his character Bob's connection with Scarlett Johansson's Charlotte than his singing of "More Than This." Classic.
There's another way you can go with karaoke: You can actually be a good singer. Such is the case of JGL performing the Pixies' "Here Comes Your Man." Though his Tom is supposed to be very drunk -- which is the only way he can screw up the courage to take the karaoke stage -- the actor (who is also a singer a real life) kills it, egged on by the beautiful Summer (Zooey Deschanel), the girl he hopes to impress enough that she'll eventually break his heart.
Ooooh, that Julia Roberts! She was a bully, that's what she was. And she tricked poor Kimmie (Cameron Diaz) into picking up the karaoke mic, knowing Kimmie was deathly afraid of singing in front of a crowd (and with good reason ... Kimmie = terrible). But the joke was on Roberts' Julianne, because she forgot one important rule of chickflickdom: People love an underdog. When Kimmie works up the nerve to warble "I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself," she wows the crowd (and her fiancé, played by Dermot Mulroney) and leaves Julianne faced.
This karaoke scene is so old-school that Harry (Crystal) doesn't even call it karaoke. He calls it a "singing machine." And we love when he and Sally, while shopping for a wedding gift at a Sharper Image-y store, fire it up and take it out for a spin with that "Oklahoma" gem "Surrey With the Fringe on Top." Harry even does some theatrical gesturing during the song for bonus karaoke, err, singing-machine points; and no, no one really knows what a surrey is.
Jim Carrey throws his whole body into his best comedy bits, and that's why this karaoke movie moment, in which he literally throws his body onto the floor, tops our list. His TV-obsessed cable guy, Chip Douglas, is trying to impress new friend Steven (Matthew Broderick) with a swingin' soiree, and that means a rowdy performance of "Somebody to Love," complete with leather pants, fringe jacket, gyrating hips and a version of the song that's so good it ended up on the movie's soundtrack.