Sing For Your Life is a 2014 American Musical Comedy written by Ewan Leslie, Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smit and directed by Andy Fickman starring Kristin Wiig, Gerard Butler, Ewan McGregor, Nicholas Hoult, Emma Roberts, Emma Stone, Liam Hemsworth, Dave Franco, Jonah Hill, Saorise Ronan, Douglas Booth, Jim Parsons, Taylor Momsen, Kate Mara, Ashanti and Jared Leto. The film was a commercial success and was fairly well received by critics.
It wasn't screened in advance for critics and was jumped straight to a large theatrical release on April 10th, 2014.
The film has since been analled into the allegory of best musical films of the modern age coming aside 2007's Hairspray, Pitch Perfect, Step Up, Honey and Stomp the Yard.
The film is produced and presented by actress Kristen Wiig, Zac Efron of High School Musical fame, Lea Michele of Glee who appears in the film as Bernadette lead vocalist and comedic actor John C. Reilly.
The film is distributed by Paramount Pictures and it's extensive company Paramount Vantage as well in working in colloboration with Dreamworks Pictures.
A former 80's big shot music competition turned parole officer mom Elly Wiggins (Kristen Wiig) is tasked with running a group of delinquet college youths who have all been caught participating in an elaborate prank which involved stealing the college dean's ferrari and a zoo animal.
She is instructed to sign the teens up who had all served in the college's musical for the local national music competition as community service so as they can avoid imprisonement. Elly originally declines as it a painful stigma to her long gone golden days destroyed before finals by a flaking supporting team. She also declines on account of her 14 year old daughter who is struggling with school and flunking out of college.
She however comes to accept learning that her daughter is in fact one of the teens who she is tasked with signing up for the national music competition as community service. Her rebellious daughter Dana (Emma Roberts) comes along with an Alex Gordon (Nicholas Hoult) who is a depressive loner with a beautiful voice, Justine Bradley (Emma Roberts) a street punk, Taye Flamboyo (Liam Hemsworth) a hunky Varsity Trackstar, Fred Jones III (Dave Franco) the rich kid prankster, Theodore "Theo" Sinata (Jonah Hill) a party DJ, Ally Swiss (Saoirse Ronan) A angry Irish Girl, Jonah Sincott (Douglas Booth) a romantic, Travers Linderberg (Jim Parsons) a homosexual flairboyant, Alana Drapes (Taylor Momsen) a bottle blonde cheerleader, Lara Boe-Step (Kate Mara) a drama queen Kiyah Eastweld (Ashanti) a rapper thief, and Lizzy Von Strep (Salma Hayek) a nerd
Elly reaches through to all of them and they all bring forth their amazing voices to the stages spanning from Denver, Colorado to Sun City, Florida and finally Los Angeles, California for the harrowing finals.
They all find themselves along the way and do not persist anymore for the basic participation so as to avoid jail time, but rather to win in honor of themselves.
The film begins in 1989 where a group of college girls titled "The Quadrant" are set to perform in the finals for the "Sing For Your Life" national singing competition. They are set to vs. the Red Harpies comprising also of a collective of four girls. The leader of the Quadrant Eleanor "Elly" Wiggins is however the only one to emerge on stage as her other three supporting vocalists are missing. It turns out two of them Molly "Molliza" Asholin and Gabrielle "Gabby" Turner are high on marijuana supplied by other vocalist Jeanine "Jeana" Bishop who is hooking up with Elly's boyfriend Jamieson a singer of flunked out contestant group "The Liberals."
She gets back on and peforms solo I Want You Want Me by Cheap Trick and is ultimatley disqualified as she does not have a standing group of at least four vocalists. The Quadrant's disqualification results in The Red Harpies winning the finals and Sing For Your Life Competition. We then fast forward to 2014 and as of 1994 Elly bore a baby girl to Jamieson named Dana who is now a hot-headed, rebellious emo 14 year old youth atteding Northwestern University. Elly is working the same job her mother was back when she was in college at Northwestern performing in the Quadrant, the job of a joyless parole officer. Jamieson is seperated from Elly as around the time of Dana's 7th birthday, it was revealed he had been lunged at by a drunk bar girl and it had appeared he had been cheating again. Dana in the meanwhile of 2014, attending Northwestern in her freshman year lacks any friends but has a reclusive, introvert sought after literary student Alex Gordon trailing after her.
She befriends him and the two on a midnight stroll across campus and at the scene of a prank being pulled off by prankster freshman Fred Jones III and Theodore Patrick Sinata. Also present at the scene is street punk Justine Bradley, Varsity Jock Taye Flamboyo, Feisty Irish freshman Ally Swiss, Lothario Wannabe Jonah Sincott, Varisty Cheerleader Alana Drapes, Flamboyant gay freshman Travers Linderberg, College Party DJ Lara Boe-Step, breakdancer Kiyah Eastweld, and nerd Lizzy Von Strep The group are apprehended by campus security and it is revealed Theodore and Fred Jones III had stolen an elephant from the nearby local zoo and Headmaster Dean Alacott's cadillac and planted atop of the school's entrance pedestal. The group are faced with two options: A Prison sentence for breaking and entering, grand theft auto, larceny, reckless endangerment and vandalism or allocated community service. The group take community service in which they will serve under a parole officer and it is revealed the parole officer is indeed Dana's own mother.
The service is to serve as acting participants in the now opening annual Sing For Your Life music competition which concludes in a final ensemble vocalist performance at the Los Angeles Ethereum Theatre. The group are informed they have been offered this generous offer as all of the group had previously contributed greatly to the community with a musical for their music class which earnt alot of money spent towards charity. Their amazing voices drew in a hefty audience and now the Sing For Your Life Competition 2013's prize money will split for the winners and their presiding judge's favorite charity. Elly is allocated Northwestern's unused old music building as a place of training, the group initially do not get along and constantly squabble.
Dana shows up regurlarly late and still has struck the attraction of also serving Alex. They are each allocated a singing name and opposite sex partner. Dana to Alex, Justine to Taye, Theo to Alana, Fred to Lara, Jonah to Ally, Travers to Kiyah. Dana bears the name The Big D, Justine The Justice, Alex The Gordsy Pordsy, Taye The Hunk, Alana The Diva, Fred The Third, Jonah The Romeo, Theo The Demolition, Lara The Mix, Travers The Glue and Kiyah The R & B.
Dana and Alex are sent out to a local rodeo bar where they perform Say It Right by Nelly Furtado. Justine and Taye down to Justine's neighbourhood to perform to her street friends where they are allocated a song which must be an "80's classic." Taye jumps in with Come On Eileen and the two perform the Dexy's Midnight Runners classic.
Jonah and Ally are sent to an Irish Bar where they peform Don't Stop Believin for the bar's 80's night. Fred and Lara come to Northwestern's late night assembly for the faculty and perform What I Like About You. Theo and Alana at a play interject and sing One Night In Bangkok. Travers and Kiyah at a ballet recital interject and sing Heaven Is A Place On Earth by Belinda Carlisle. The group earn favourable attention and are then signed down for the Sing For Your Life Competition under the group name The Coming Storm. They then play off first against the The Bernadettes all girl group in which all the girls of the Coming Storm perform Cyndi Lauper's Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and advance victorious. Their play off against the Bernadettes takes place in New York at the Franatee Hotel & Bistro.
The boys of the coming storm then play off against the all boy group the Eastfelds in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Casino performing Catch My Disease by Ben Lee. They go out and party out on the town of Sin City and wind up in trouble with Elly who warns if they have one slip up they will be serving the prison term instead of the community service. They then montage train up and shop out for the attire of the band before heading up to Miami, Florida and the Grass Green festival face off against the Nixons.
Dana begins by performing solo I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston, Fred interjects with Butterfly by Crazy Town, Kiyah with American Boy by Estelle, Lara with Harder To Breathe by Maroon 5, Travers with F#uck You by Lily Allen, Ally with Groove Is In The Heart by Dee-Lite, Theo with How Do You Like Me Now by the Heavy, Jonah with What's New Pussycat by Tom Jones. They then continue with Dana and Justine performing in duo Lovefool by the Cardigans then These Words by Natasha Bedingfield and concluding with Theo and Fred performing Ring Of Fire by Johnny Cash.
They win and are then invited out by sleazy label man Benny "Ludacris" Holdsworth who has been hounding them to his large Miami estate for a party to celebrate their victory against the Nixons and progression onto the Semi-Finals. Things get out of control as the group gets drunk and the authorities arrive at Benny's residence. They are apprehended into custody and consideration is put into the disqualification of the Coming Storm from the tournament and their conversion from community service into prison. However the Judge has decided with their recent money raising success and dedication to be given one more chance at following through to the end and possibly winning the tournament which concludes at the Ethereum Theatre in Los Angeles, California.
The group head on to boot camp in Baltimore, Maryland where they are trained up physically for a dance, song number for their semi-final square off against the Liberals which so happens is being coached by Jamieson this year. The group face off in the Warehouse 9 Club with the Coming Storm performing a mix of songs in different sets an idea used previously developed by Lara.
Taye and Justine begin with The Way I Are by Timbaland and Keri Hilson, Jonah and Theo continue on with Hall Of Fame by the Script and Will.I.Am, Dana and Alex then jump in with The Time (Dirty Bit) by the Black Eyed Peas followed by Fred and Ally singing B.O.B. and Hayley Williams' Airplanes, Taye then solo sings Faker's This Heart Attack, Alana, Travers and Kiyah in a set of three perform The Pussycat Dolls Jai Ho, Lara solo sings Adele's Set Fire To The Rain following and Dana and Justine throw in together briefly at the end of her add in Adele's Rolling In The Deep and the battle is concluded with the Coming Storm removing victorious over the Liberals.
The group then finally progress onto the finals in Los Angeles at the Ethereum but along the way are faced with the obstacles of Elly, Lara and Kiyah backing out. Elly as she gets into a custody argument with Jamieson over Dana as she still refuses him visitation rights at her home, Alana as she develops cold feet and runs away from her strong feelings for Theo and Kiyah who fell for the sleazy label man Benny who she learns is scamming the group and in particular her. However all pulls through and the group come to the Ethereum facing off against their final group: The Red Harpies who had beat Elly all the way back in 89 as her group the Quadrant were disqualified.
In to watch the performance is not only Dana's father Jamieson but Elly's former fellow Quadrant members. Elly engages Jeana in a brief fight which almost costs the The Coming Storm their spot in the finals. Elly, Jeana and the others eventually come to make amends and she receives a letter from Jamieson explaining the incident from Dana's 6th birthday and how he didn't cheat on her and had she gotten to know his family he possesses an identical twin brother Michael who was the one seen in 89 hooking up with Jeana which cost them the competition.
She runs to him and kisses him as they announce their love for each other. Before coming out onto stage Alex kisses Dana which causes her to freak out stating she's not ready for a relationship. Things patch up on stage however as the entire group perform MIKA's hit song We Are Golden and win the tournament securing first place and putting out the Red Harpies. Dana then asks the judge's and stage manager if she could borrow the stage for only five minutes more so as to perform with her mom. The two then perform her favorite song Cyndi Lauper's Time After Time.
Dana then apologizes to Alex and kisses him, Justine and Taye consumate in a kiss as does Jonah and Ally, Theo and Alana, Lara and Fred, Kiyah and Travers before they both back out and Travers kisses a gay stage-hand. They are all congratulated and hugged by their parents and their Principal and rest of school peers are seen in the audience jumping to their feet and clapping. The film's credits then roll with flashes of the party at Benny Holdsworth's and the group dancing along to the end credits song: I Like It by Enrique Iglesias.
- Kristen Wiig as Eleanor "Elly" Wiggins- Former 80's music competition diva who had the goal of becoming an 80's pop queen. She leads the group as their instructing vocalist and choreographer. She is desperatley trying to reconnect with her rebellious daughter, Dana.
- Gerard Butler as Jamieson Gordon/Michael Gordon- Dana's father and Elly's ex-boyfriend from 1989 who had been dating her for three years and then up on the night of her finals cheated with her bestfriend and fellow Corbet member. He plans to jump back into Dana's life to finally assume the role of a father and is a skilled dancer and singer.
- Ewan McGregor as Harrison Jules- Elly's bestfriend and guitarist guru with the high rise voice. He helps train the group and is the one who permits the group to have their party before finals which lands them in trouble.
- Nicholas Hoult as Alex Gordon/ "The Gordsy Pordsy"- Dana's love interest who is a depressive introvert with an amazing voice and taste for all music. Despite his maturity always ends up at the scene of bad incidents and lands himself in trouble.
- Emma Roberts as Dana Wiggins/ "The Big D"- Elly's rebellious daughter with an amazing voice and taste for the 90's.
- Emma Stone as Justine Bradley/ "The Justice"- Street Punk and coveted beauty with a bellowing voice and taste for the 80's. Quickly becomes Dana's bestfriend after a duration of hatred between them.
- Lucy Punch as Allison Bradley- Justine's bespectled mother and drama queen. Believes singing to be a waste of time but ultimatley comes through to support her daughter.
- Liam Hemsworth as Taye Flamboyo/ "The Hunk"- Justine's love interest and Varsity Jock Hunk and ladies' man. Possesses an incredible voice despite and hidden personality despite his stereotypical macho outline.
- Dave Franco as Fred Jones III/ "The Third"- College Prankster and the third son of the prestigious rich Jones family. Father is incredibly disapproving of his musical ambitions and amazing vocal abilities but has the support of his elder brother and sister.
- Jonah Hill as Theodore Patrick Sinata/ "The Demolition"- Slightly overweight and picked upon dramatic performer teen with a taste for the theatrical and an amazing voice.
- Saoirse Ronan as Ally Swiss/ "The Irish Luck"- Angry Irish Girl and Loner who sings with immense power and effect. Love interest of Theodore.
- Douglas Booth as Jonah Sincott/ "The Romeo"- Flirty stoner who cleans up his act and when not under the high of illegal substances possesses an amazing singing voice.
- Jim Parsons as Travers Linderberg/ "The Glue"- Homosexual Gentleman who is very reserved despite when in performance with his unique, great voice.
- Taylor Momsen as Alana Drapes/ "The Diva"- Popular Cheerleader who is fairly stereotypically ruled superficial like the rest of her clique when in actual fact she is very compassionate and caring, despite being feisty and passive aggressive. Has an amazing pop voice and love for modern music. Serves as a love interest for Fred.
- Kate Mara as Lara Bo-Step/ "The Mix"- DJ Party girl who was formerly an alcoholic and possesses an amazing singing voice. Has a love for techno, electro and pop. Serves as the love interest of Jonah.
- Ashanti as Kiyah Eastweld/ "The R & B"- Thieving rap girl and R & B singer. Has an incredibly powerful voice and has an interest in sleazy label man Benny Holdsworth/
- Jared Leto as Benny "Ludacris" Holdsworth- Sleazy label man for Record Inc who attempts steal the group off to begin record making for him.
- Melissa McCarthy as Molly "Molliza" Asholin
- Bella Heathcote as Gabrielle "Gabby" Turner
- Rose Byrne as Jeanine "Jeana" Bishop
- Kristen Chenoworth as Cassidy Merilda/ Coach Of The Red Harpies
- Britt Robertson as Carly Merilda/ Lead Vocalist of the Red Harpies
- Lea Michele as Bernadette Lead Vocalist Athena Brullaird
- Lucas Till as Eastfeld Lead Vocalist George Comber
- Michael B. Jordan as Nixon Lead Vocalist Brent Wadding
- Johnny Simmons as Liberal Lead Vocalist Adam Nark
- Eric Dane as Sing For Your Life Commentator Julian Pewter
- Dane Cook as Sing For Your Life Host and Commentator Frederick Yenfield
- Laura Bell Bundy as Krista Red Harpie Singer
- Megan Hilty as Anna Red Harpie Singer
- Felicia Day as Julie Red Harpie Singer
- Kaitlin Cullum as Cynthia Red Harpie Singer
- Jenn Proske as Regina Red Harpie Singer
- Hannah Walker as Fiona Red Harpie Singer
- Steven Strait as Liberal Singer Thomas Kendall
- Shabnam as Liberal Singer Yui Lombardi
- Justin Deeley as Liberal Singer Corman
- Trevor Morgan as Liberal Singer Anthony
- Justin Berfield as Liberal Singer Joseph
- Josh Helman as Liberal Singer Kingsley
- Eli Marienthal as Eastfeld Singer Lionel
- Jacob Zahar as Eastfeld Singer Humphrey
- Ethan Peck as Eastfeld Singer Austen
- Wyatt Russell as Eastfeld Singer Rombardi
- Joseph Cross as Eastfeld Singer Reginald
- Shawn Pyfrom as Eastfeld Singer Kasper
- Aldis Hodge as Eastfeld Singer Lucky
- Jake McDorman as Nixon Singer Ethan
- Ravil Ullman as Nixon Singer Alec
- Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Nixon Singer Terrence
- Dean Geyer as Nixon Singer Rusty
- Stephen Colleti as Nixon Singer Donald
- Miko Hughes as Nixon Singer Choir
- Oleysa Rulin as Bernadette Singer Rita
- Anna Hutchison as Bernadette Singer Florence
- Astrid Bergès-Frisbey as Bernadette Singer Constance
- Peyton List as Bernadette Singer Tamara
- Ashley Madison as Bernadette Singer Theresa
- Alexandra Chando as Bernadette Singer Shanara
- Monica Raymund as Bernadette Singer Ione
- Jeffrey Donovan as Original Liberal Stark
- Michael Weatherly as Original Liberal Ross
- Michael Stuhlbarg as Original Liberal Lewis
- Gillian Anderson as Original Red Harpie Brandine
- Kelly Rutherford as Original Red Harpie Wuanita
- Rachael Harris as Original Red Harpie Kerry
- Aaron Yoo as Secret Weapon Davis
- Justin Chon as Secret Weapon Kif
The soundtrack is divided onto two seperate discs one covering songs simply featured in the film and the other the songs sung by the actors which are covers of songs sung originally by their artists.
- Control- Janet Jackson
- Believe- Cher
- Dance In The Dark- Lady Gaga
- Heart Attack- Demi Lovatto
- This Is My Goodbye- Antoine Clamaran feat Fenja
- I Like It- Enrique Iglesias
- Call It What You Want- Foster The People
- Day "N' Nite- Kid Cudi Vs. Crookers (Crookers Remix)
- People Like Us- Kelly Clarkson
- Young, Wild and Free- Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa
- Live It Up- Jennifer Lopez feat Pitbull
- Hold On- NERVO
- Reload- Sebastian Ingrosso feat Tommy Trash & John Martin
- Play Hard- David Guetta feat Ne-Yo & Akon
Songs Covered By Actors
- I Will Survive- Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Bella Heathcote & Rose Byrne
- I Want You To Want Me- Kristen Wiig
The Coming Storm
- I Wanna Dance With Somebody- Emma Roberts
- Lovefool- Emma Roberts & Emma Stone
- These Words- Emma Roberts & Emma Stone
- Butterfly- Dave Franco
- How Do You Like Me Now- Jonah Hill
- Girls Just Wanna Have Fun- Emma Roberts & Emma Stone & Taylor Momsen & Kate Mara & Ashanti & Saoirse Ronan
- Catch My Disease- Dave Franco & Jonah Hill & Jim Parsons & Nicholas Hoult & Liam Hemsworth & Douglas Booth
- Come On Eileen- Liam Hemsworth & Emma Stone
- Don't You Want Me- Emma Roberts & Nicholas Hoult
- One Night In Bangkok- Jonah Hill & Taylor Momsen
- What I Like About You- Dave Franco & Kate Mara
- Don't Stop Believin'- Douglas Booth & Saoirse Ronan
- Heaven Is A Place On Earth- Jim Parsons & Ashanti
- Promiscuous- Liam Hemsworth & Emma Stone
- Say It Right- Nicholas Hoult & Emma Roberts
- American Boy- Ashanti
- Ring Of Fire- Dave Franco & Jonah Hill
- F#ck You- Jim Parsons
- The Bad Touch- Liam Hemsworth & Dave Franco & Jonah Hill & Douglas Booth & Jim Parsons & Nicholas Hoult
- Wish You Well- Dave Franco
- What's New Pussycat?- Douglas Booth
- Groove Is In The Heart- Saoirse Ronan
- Harder To Breathe- Kate Mara
- The Way I Are- Liam Hemsworth & Emma Stone
- Hall Of Fame- Jonah Hill & Douglas Booth
- The Time (Dirty Bit)- Emma Roberts & Nicholas Hoult
- Airplanes- Dave Franco & Saoirise Ronan
- This Heart Attack- Liam Hemsworth
- Jai Ho- Taylor Momsen & Jim Parsons & Ashanti
- Set Fire To The Rain- Kate Mara
- We Are Golden- Emma Roberts & Emma Stone & Nicholas Hoult & Jim Parsons & Kate Mara & Liam Hemsworth & Jonah Hill & Dave Franco & Taylor Momsen & Douglas Booth & Ashanti & Saoirse Ronan & Kristen Wiig
- Time After Time- Kristen Wiig & Emma Roberts
The Red Harpies
- Material Girl- Kristen Chenoworth, Gillian Anderson, Kelly Rutherford & Rachael Harris
- The Way To Go- Britt Robertson, Laura Bell Bundy, Megan Hilty, Kaitlin Cullum, Jenn Proske,Dreama Walker & Felicia Day
- Stuck In The Middle With You- Gerard Butler, Jeffrey Donovan, Michael Weatherly & Michael Stuhlbarg
- Live and Let Die- Johnny Simmons, Steven Strait, Shabnam, Trevor Morgan, Justin Berfield, Josh Helman & Aubrey Graham
- Stuttering- Lucas Till, Eli Marienthal, Jacob Zahar, Ethan Peck, Wyatt Russell, Joseph Cross, Shawn Pyfrom & Aldis Hodge
- We Are Young- Michael B. Jordan, Jake McDorman, Ravil Ullman, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Dean Geyer, Stephen Colleti & Miko Hughes
- Cry For You- Lea Michele, Oleysa Rulin, Anna Hutchison, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Peyton List, Ashley Madison, Alexandra Chando & Monica Raymund
The Secret Weapons
- Silhouettes- Aaron Yoo & Justin Chon
- Get Lucky- Aaron Yoo & Justin Chon