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Soundtrack review: Tag (Germaine Franco – 2018)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Tag (Germaine Franco – 2018)

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“Tag” is an upcoming American comedy film directed by Jeff Tomsic (in his directorial debut) and written by Rob McKittrick and Mark Steilen. The film is based on a story that was published in The Wall Street Journal about a group of grown men who spend one month a year playing the game of tag. At nine years old, a group of tight-knit friends–Hoagie, Jerry, Bob, Chili and Kevin–created a game of tag that they played through the month of May. After thirty years, it was the thing that brought them together, even when their lives took them in different directions. However, this might be the last, as it seems like Jerry–who’s never been tagged–might quit. Germaine Franco wrote the score.

There is a certain sound a lot of composers go to (or are asked to go to) when it’s time to score a comedy like this. You know the sound if you watch comedies: it’s light guitar, sometimes with jolts of playfulness to evoke the amusing scenes from the movie. The cues are short, 1 or 2 minutes long and there are no themes, just a playful background sound that puts the viewer in a good mood and accompanies the on screen (mis)adventures of the characters. Personally I am not a fan of these scores on their own as they don’t bring much emotional impact or entertainment. It’s not a frustrating standalone listen as the slightly jazzy heist vibes that occasionally appear in “Tag” are fun and there are moments when the composer breaks out of this generic comedic sound, like in “No contact protocol” where she channels a nice little spy sound.

“Tag” is the type of score that flourishes in the context of the movie, it needs the images and gags to be complete and work better. On its own is nothing more than a fun one time listen. What made me think was the final cue “Doves loophole” because it exploded with Russian like choirs and an epic sound that makes me think Germain Franco has some tricks up her sleeve which I will discover in her next scores.

Cue rating: 59 / 100

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Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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