Song of the Day #5,339: ‘Suddenly Seymour’ – Manny Magnus and Jenny Slate

I wonder what the odds were of two of my favorite musical movie moments in 2022 coming from Jenny Slate. Slate is a brilliant comedic and dramatic actress whose work I’ve loved for years but I never knew she had the power to profoundly move me with her singing voice.

Today’s song comes from the movie I liked least among this week’s musical selections, but it may well be the scene I loved most. It appears in the forgettable romantic comedy I Want You Back, which features Slate and Charlie Day as new friends who bond over being dumped and vow to help each other win back their exes.

Slate’s character conspires to lure away the new beau of Day’s ex by volunteering at a middle school production of Little Shop of Horrors he is directing. At one point she agrees to sit in as Audrey for dress rehearsal and has a rough phone conversation with her own ex right before going on.

That’s the setup to this scene, which finds Slate in emotional turmoil as she takes the stage. The song’s lyrics hit a nerve and she gets increasingly into the performance as it helps her process her feelings.

Slate is so funny and so poignant here, often at the same time, delivering an unexpectedly moving moment in an otherwise run-of-the-mill streaming romcom.

Lift up your head, wash off your mascara
Here, take my Kleenex, wipe that lipstick away
Show me your face clean as the mornin’
I know things were bad, but now they’re okay

Suddenly Seymour is standing beside you
You don’t need no makeup, don’t have to pretend
Suddenly Seymour is here to provide you
Sweet understandin’, Seymour’s your friend

Nobody ever treated me kindly
Daddy left early, mama was poor
I’d meet a man and I’d follow him blindly
He’d snap his fingers
Me? I’d say “Sure!”

Suddenly, Seymour is standing beside me
He don’t give me orders, he don’t condescend
Suddenly, Seymour is here to provide me
Sweet understanding, Seymour’s my friend

Tell me this feeling lasts ’til forever
Tell me the bad times are clean washed away

Please understand that it’s still strange and frightening
For losers like I am it’s so hard to say

Suddenly, Seymour (Suddenly, Seymour)
He purified me (He purified you)
Suddenly, Seymour (Suddenly, Seymour)
Showed me I can (Yes, you can!)

Oh, learn how to be more
The girl that’s inside me (Ooo, ooo, ooo)

With sweet understanding

With sweet understanding

With sweet understanding

With sweet understanding

With sweet understanding
Seymour’s your man!

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #5,339: ‘Suddenly Seymour’ – Manny Magnus and Jenny Slate

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I mostly forgot about this movie as well, but this was a touching scene featuring one of my favorite musical songs.

  2. Amy says:

    I would argue that Slate’s presence automatically makes any film something other than run-of-the-mill, but maybe that’s just me.

    This one certainly is no Obvious Child!

    Still, thank you for reminding me of this great musical moment brought to us by one of the hardest working voice actors in the business!

  3. Peg says:

    I also forgot about this movie and this scene was so special. Ditto on the thanks for reminding me about this movie ❤️

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