Playing It Cool

Score By: Jake Monaco

Additional Music By: Andrew Feltenstein and John Nau

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Abandoned by his mother as a boy, a young screenwriter (Chris Evans) is finding it difficult to work on the script for a romantic comedy.  He turns to his friends for their experiences, but this doesn't help.  The only way to understand love is to experience it himself.  Unfortunately, when he does finally find a woman (Michelle Monaghan) that fits the bill, she's already taken.

                The musical score of Playing It Cool was created by American composer Jake Monaco, with additional music by Andrew Feltenstein and John Nau.  Jake Monaco's parents knew he would someday pursue a career in music when they took him to the circus and he passed the clowns and animals, headed straight towards the band pit at the early age or two.  He played the guitar in high school and studied music composition and technology at the University of Richmond, before eventually enrolling at the film scoring program at USC.  Collaborating with composer Christophe Beck and becoming a co-founder of the Q6 Studios, Monaco has had a lucrative career as a film score composer, working on such notable films as Frozen, The Muppets, Waiting for Superman, Out to Kill, Kilimanjaro, The Road We've Traveled and Let's Be Cops.

                For this score, Monaco decided to go contemporary, "The score is centered around a small rhythm section for a smaller, intimate feel, but there are always a few elements that have been manipulated to make it feel a little more contemporary.  The vignettes throughout the film each have their own idea, from the Korean Soap opera to the story about the Serf finding love. Writing music that was not only appropriate for the time and place where the story was set, but also keeping it somewhat connected to the rest of the score was a new challenge that we had a lot of fun going back and forth on."  Thus, the Playing It Cool Soundtrack features mainly guitars, synthesizers and percussion.  The tracks are short and there is that definite tongue-in-cheek feel that one usually gets from romantic comedy scores.

                The Playing It Cool Soundtrack is a perfect accompaniment to the film and contains some interesting rhythms.  That being said, I'm not certain I would purchase the soundtrack, having never seen the film.  This is one of those albums where the buyers will mostly consist of fans of the film/composer.  An entertaining listen, but not exactly worth the money.


For feedback, visit our message board or e-mail the author at