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I Don't Know How She Does It by Aaron Zigman (Review)

posted Oct 16, 2011, 7:44 PM by Kaya Savas

Ah, romantic comedy territory. This genre brings treacherous waters as composers try to navigate a fine line between heartwarming sentimentality and pure crap. I can't say Aaron Zigman's score is bad, because it's pretty darn good. The light piano theme that anchors the score is really good. The music has some spunk and energy to its step, but it also has character. Yes, it does follow trends but when you are working within such a stale genre it's hard to escape musical archetypes.

The movie itself looks dreadful and is a complete throwaway, but the score isn't. Zigman follows a similar fashion to what Hans Zimmer does with his "romcom" scores. The music has a waltzy feel and is backed with strings and some solo instruments. You of course will have plenty of acoustic guitar since that has somehow become the iconic romantic comedy instrument, but Zigman infuses the score with it rather than relies on it. Another thing that's impressive is that the score is only 38 minutes, but when it was over I didn't feel like the experience was a choppy or stilted one. Many romantic comedy scores have short track times, and with Zigman's score that is also the case. However, even with a handful of tracks under a minute long I never felt like they broke up the flow. You will notice that the "Main Title" is track 23, which probably means that the track order was done in a fashion to better present the music rather than going in film order. All in all the score works, and it's definitely a rare example of a good romantic comedy score.

Not once did I feel the music was schmaltzy and not once did I feel it was overdone. Zigman finds a nice balance between emotional pockets and springy tunes. The score gives you enough room to breathe and take it in so you never feel forced into any emotional state of mind. In my book that makes this a great score that somehow survived a genre where many composers fail miserably.