: (Jerry Goldsmith) When Albert Einstein
instructs the audience not to let its brain interfere with its heart, a
red flag has to be raised. The 1994 Fred Schepisi comedy I.Q.
two concurrent storylines, one that is standard romance material and
another than never realizes its potential in terms of intellectual
humor. Meg Ryan and Tim Robbins are the unlikely couple destined for
love in the story, prodded along in their predictably affable roles by
Walter Matthau playing the part of Einstein (Ryan's character's uncle).
He engineers the romantic narrative of I.Q.
while also bantering
back and forth with three of his intellectual counterparts, a sub-plot
with more potential than Schepisi realized. Received with faint praise
outside of those who are suckers for the silliest of films in the
romantic comedy genre, I.Q.
is generally remembered for its
mediocre screenplay, the result of significant editing by writers
throughout the production. Making a memorable impact on the film is its
music, partly because Einstein plays Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Twinkle,
Twinkle Little Star" on the violin in the story. Also at the forefront
is a cute and undemanding score by veteran composer Jerry Goldsmith. The
five collaborations between Goldsmith and Schepisi began with The
in 1990, and for that achievement alone, the two men
have to be forgiven for the four relatively poor or unremarkable scores
to result from the two thereafter (Mr. Baseball
, Six Degrees
, and Fierce Creatures
). It could
be argued that I.Q.
is the most interesting of those four scores,
though given its extremely light demeanor and slight footprint in the
composer's career, that isn't saying much. Of more consequence for
collectors of Goldsmith's music is the fact that I.Q.
remained the only score written by the composer over the last two
decades of his career that had never received any formal album release.
Running under 40 minutes, Goldsmith's recording for I.Q.
humor and little substance, and with the disappearance of the film from
the collective memory, it was not surprising to see this rare void in
the availability of his music. That said, however, I.Q.
better score than many of the ridiculous comedy works he produced in the
1990's (and even psychotic bewilderments like Link
), so it wasn't
a surprise when La-La Land Records finally pressed a limited
presentation of the featherweight score to CD in 2009 (along with
Goldsmith's challenging music for the 1966 psychological drama
, an extremely awkward pairing to say the least).
As mentioned by a few irritated critics of the film in
initial reviews, Goldsmith adapts "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" into a
substantial portion of his score, stating it fully several times and
using fragments of the well known piece throughout the rest of the work.
A related theme consistently represents Einstein, twisting the Mozart
progression slightly though still retaining enough of the famous melody
to function. This idea mingles with two other thematic identities in the
picture, the first being an extremely light-hearted 1950's jingle with
saxophone and "doo-wop" vocals from a small female chorus. This generic
but lovable rhythm serves underneath the primary theme on high strings
and solo brass for Einstein in five or so cues. As the narrative
progresses, Goldsmith extends a love theme very stereotypical to this
period in his career, a pretty but largely nondescript piece that ranges
from standard string performances to more contemporary tones on
keyboards. The score maintains a fine balance between the fluffy style
of its innocent 50's character and the utter ridiculousness of the
violin performances of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" that will, for
some listeners, prove to be too cute to handle. The highlights of the
score are, not surprisingly, the 50's light rock imitations from
Goldsmith, incorporating progressions similar to Henry Mancini's
slightly later "Baby Elephant Walk" with great affection. Although the
score features about ten combined minutes of this flashy 50's material
and ensemble explorations of the love theme, the filler music in
is otherwise somewhat anonymous. This majority maintains the
same attitude as the highlights, but regurgitates them with minimal
development. Meandering, pleasant tones for electric organ, pop
percussion, and ambient strings form inconsequential cues that often run
for short durations. A few source-like light band cues are provided by
Goldsmith as well. The listening experience as a whole will be one of
amusement for Goldsmith collectors, though a fair amount of redundant
material outside of the Mozart adaptations and 50's rhythms might result
in infrequent revisits. The first available album of the score started
circulating on the collector's market in the form of an early 2000's
bootleg. This 29-track CD with 37 minutes of score-only material offered
no cue titles and minimal packaging, though it did feature dynamic and
clear sound quality (without a large ensemble for the performance, the
scope of the recording was already a tad limited). The 2009 La-La Land
album, limited to 3,000 copies, condensed I.Q.
tracks, though only a marginal amount of additional music is presented
and the sound quality is not noticeably improved over the widespread
bootlegs. Either way, it's an undeniably likable score, but don't go
overboard trying to find it. *** @Amazon.com: CD or
For Jerry Goldsmith reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3.29
(in 113 reviews)|
and the average viewer rating is 3.31
(in 143,742 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.
There exists no formal packaging to any of the bootleg variations for this score.
The 2009 La-La Land album includes extensive information about the score and film.