When life is a musical


(500 Days of Summer/Fox Searchlight Pictures)

What if people did break into song and dance when they were really happy? Or sad? Or angry?

"500 Days of Summer" is the most recent film to use a sudden song and dance number to convey the unbridled joy of one of its main characters.

Such scenes do more than express a heightened feeling; they also give us a sense that we're all connected. Suddenly we're all singing the same song and moving to the same beat. We belong to something bigger than ourselves, and we know exactly what we're supposed to do. That sounds pretty reassuring to me.

So what if like was really like that? Well, it would probably look something like this:

The above is courtesy of Improv Everywhere, a group based in New York City whose mission is "to create chaos and joy in public places." Other spontaneous events include large crowds boarding a subway with no pants on, and throwing a wedding reception for a random couple just married at city hall. You can watch the art gallery opening they hosted on a subway platform here.

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