This movie that was never made might have the best soundtrack ever

Each song is a banger.
Tim Mosenfelder/GettyImages

I’m going to tell you a tragic little story from the recent past, but don’t worry. It’s very short and there’s a silver lining at the end. The year is 2017 and a funny teen romcom screenplay is getting some attention in Hollywood circles. It wins an award or two and attracts a producer. It has a good hook and a raunchy/sweet brand of comedy that is poised to appeal to teens and young adults. It’s female-centric – kind of like a distaff version of Super Bad.

The screenplay gets optioned and begins several years of rewrites. Nothing unusual there. SOP for Hollywood these days. And then, just as everyone is on the same page and directors are being scouted – COVID. The project, like so many others, gets swept away. Granted, it’s not one of the greater COVID tragedies, but for a small group of people who worked on it, the demise was nonetheless painful.

But here’s the silver lining. There was a playlist. It would have been the soundtrack for the movie (though music publishing rights issues may well have necessitated changes over time.) A collection of a dozen songs that captured the ethos and spirit of feisty suburban femininity in the late teens (both as an era and as a character age.) This wasn’t punk – the movie wasn’t Kids or Thirteen. It was mainstream, in-your-face, high-energy rock and roll from female-fronted bands guaranteed to make you feel good.

The best soundtrack from any movie you will never see

And I present it to you now, for your listening enjoyment. The lost soundtrack to Ask Me.

"HAPPY TOGETHER" – The Dollyrots

Kelly Ogden’s punky take on the Turtles classic kicks things off as we meet our hero, the ultra-savvy, hard-driven Alyssa, and her business partner, the gender-fluid, tough girl Randii. Best friends, they run a cottage industry in their high school which is about to go viral. (For those Nickelodeon fans out there, Alyssa and Randii were inspired by Carly and Sam from iCarly.)

"NO LOVER"  - Jetty Bones

Alyssa’s future is all mapped out and includes a boyfriend. But it’s high school and that doesn’t always run smoothly. Kelc Galluzzo’s rejection of traditional notions of romance signals the continual argument that Alyssa and Randii have over just how important a lover is in the greater scheme of things.

"LAVENDER BONES" – Stand Atlantic

And when Alyssa’s love life does in fact hit a wall, Bonnie Fraser captures her brave face – “I can cover it up.”

"ADOLESCENT" – Jack River

Despite the brave face, Alyssa begins to plummet, and Holly Rankin’s earworm captures it  “Love, Love, your love obsession – Hey, hey, so f****ng adolescent.


More wallowing in self-pity, courtesy of Sophie Hopes. And I want to note here that the number of Australian songs so far is not a comment on that country’s particular penchant for capturing teenage angst. Sometimes things just work out that way.


We’re getting to the midpoint of the movie and Alyssa is starting to fight back against her own reliance on an external relationship to give her life value. Ella Boissonnault, of D.C.’s lamentably short-lived Makeshift Shelters, provides the perfect blend of snarky, hilarious indignation. “Well, I guess I got to say I’m glad you moved on because those drunk texts were getting petty lame.”

"BED CASE" – Tancred

But of course, Alyssa can’t overcome her demons in the middle, or else the movie has no third act. I’ll be honest, I have no idea what Jess Abbott is singing about in “Bed Case.” But it sounds cool and hints at something right on the edge of a metamorphosis.

"CAPACITY" – Charly Bliss

As Alyssa sees light at the end of the tunnel, Eva Hendricks’ sweet voice is there to suggest a burgeoning self-empowerment.

"4 LEAF CLOVER" – Letters to Cleo

“4 Leaf Clover” is on the soundtrack because Alyssa is going to listen to some advice from someone older at a key moment. Now, I want to make clear that Kay Hanley is not old. I am old. She is not. But in this context, Letters to Cleo does serve as a spiritual foremother to the other music here. Well, it’s also on the soundtrack because it’s a kick-ass rock & roll song.

"RUN RUN RUN" – Kari Kimmel

Alyssa will have to win back friends – primarily Randii – in order for the movie to reach its resolution. Kari Kimmel sums up the drive she must display as the movie reaches its climax.

"THICKER THAN THIEVES" – Tilly and the Wall

Triumph! As Alyssa and Randii reconcile and all is good in the world – kids dancing into the night – music blasting from the stage – “You and me got something they can’t touch – You and me connect the dots, uh huh – You’re the one I call when things get rough – You can tell when I need you.” The Omaha legends (did I mention the movie is set in Omaha?), with a tap dancer instead of a drummer, play us into the closing credits.

You may not be able to see the movie. But you can still listen to these songs. That might be even better.

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