the only living boy in ny

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition: the best movies named after a song title – intentionally or not – that you’ve probably never seen!)

Pop culture crosses streams all the time both in an effort to increase profit and benefit from name recognition. Adaptations, brands, and “cinematic universes” are the most obvious examples, but sometimes it’s as simple as a song. From Stand By Me and Bad Boys to Pretty Woman and Soul Man, some films are titled with the clear goal of reaching instant familiarity with potential viewers. They typically go the expected extra step of licensing the song for use in the movie itself, but sometimes the title itself – which I don’t believe counts as copyright infringement – is more than enough.

The latest film to go this route is the indie drama, The Only Living Boy in New York, which opens in limited release this week. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m betting it includes the Simon & Garfunkel song because they’d have to be fools not to. It’s a great song.

For every American Pie or When a Man Loves a Woman though, there are probably half a dozen far lesser known films also named after songs. Some are forgettable of course, but the six films below are all very good to great movies worth seeking out for fans of their respective genres.

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The Only Living Boy in New York trailer

After spending around five years or so of his life making The Amazing Spider-Man movies, director Marc Webb returned to movies much smaller in scale. Webb’s first post-Spidey gig, Gifted, was well liked and struck a chord with audiences, making $24 million at the box-office. His next drama, The Only Living Boy in New York, doesn’t look as accessible, based on a trailer that’s maybe a tad overstuffed.

It is the next feature from the director of (500) Days of Summer, though, and it does star Jeff BridgesPierce Brosnan, Cynthia Nixon, and Kate Beckinsale, so the Only Living Boy in New York trailer isn’t without some promise.

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The Only Living Boy in New York

Miles Teller is doing a movie with Marc Webb. The Amazing Spider-Man director has balanced a commitment to Fox Searchlight and the desire to do other indies with his work for Sony. Now he’s prepping a return to the indie scene with The Only Living Boy in New York, about a young man who gets involved with the same woman his father is having an affair with. The Whiplash star is going to rock the lead role. Read More »

As Marc Webb continues to ponder whether or not he wants to return to The Amazing Spider-Man for another go-round, another possible follow-up has popped up on the horizon. Webb is reportedly attached to direct the coming-of-age tale The Only Living Boy in New York, written by Rock of Ages scribe Allan Loeb.

Webb replaces Seth Gordon, who signed on to helm back in 2011. Percy Jackson & the Olympians star Logan Lerman (once a contender to play Spidey) was lined up for the lead role at the time, but it’s unclear if he remains on board. More after the jump.

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Briefly: You’re probably going to be hearing a lot more about Logan Lerman in the next couple years. He was reportedly in the running for Spider-Man after starring in Percy Jackson & the Olympian: The Lightning Thief. He’s D’Artangan in The Three Musketeers (trailer here), and he’ll be the lead in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, opposite Emma Watson. Now he’s booked a new role as The Only Living Boy In New York. Read More »