Hans Zimmer is renowned for bombast - Broken Arrow, Crimson
Tide and The Rock are among his credits - but Driving Miss Daisy
showed there were also thinner fluids in his veins. His work for
James L. Brooks' Jack Nicholson-starring vehicle again proves his
adaptability. Hans can do whimsy, too. His jack-of-all-trade
abilities are presumably a major reason why he gets so much work.
Zimmer looks as if he can turn work around quickly and
competently, whipping up scores that suit the tone of the film
without worrying overly about whether he's created an
In this case, using orchestra and piano, he fashions
old-fashioned, colourless, lightweight material containing the
odd nod to Nino Rota's Fellini scores (minus the inspiration). It
fits perfectly comfortably beneath the film as barely noticed
background music. Outside that context it sounds utterly insipid.
Can't they program computers to write this sort of thing now?
I'd also have to ask if there is really a market for a
throwaway 30 minute Zimmer score. I'd guess not, and that the
real reason for its inclusion on the CD is to pad out the
non-original songs, of which there are only seven (or maybe the
songs are to pad out the short score). Sadly they make up a
pretty undistinguished selection with the exception of Shawn
Colvin's terrific Climb On (A Back That's Strong) and Nat King
Cole's pleasantly smooth For Sentimental Reasons (I Love You).
The film's climax is musically memorable, but I'm not sure
that's a compliment. Art Garfunkel doing Always Look 0n the
Bright Side of Life, from the climax to Monty Python's Life of
Brian, is an acceptably light touch to the film, but does anyone
really want to hear it over and over again? I'd gladly listen to
a CD of Nicholson's delightfully insulting dialogue from the
movie. How about that, Sony?