Singer covers “Can’t Fight This Feeling” with all the Eighties schmaltz necessary for the Eighties-themed monster romp
Only melodramatic soft rock can fully conjure the necromantic schmaltz of Lisa Frankenstein, a new comedy about a teenager seducing a long-dead corpse. So JoJo recorded an extra kitschy rendition of REO Speedwagon’s “Can’t Fight This Feeling” for the picture.
A music video shows the movie’s Lisa (actress Kathryn Newton) at a piano with its Creature (Cole Sprouse) as JoJo croons Kevin Cronin’s midnight confessions. “I can’t fight this feeling any longer/Yet I’m still afraid to let it flow.” She sings the lyrics from the heart, closing her eyes and gesticulating with her hands — even holding a pencil in the air — as she listens to the music on a pair of comically large headphones encircling her indoor beanie. By the time she finally concedes, “I can’t fight this feeling anymore,” you really don’t want her to.
In a profile of filmmaker Zelda Williams, Rolling Stone described the picture as “an Eighties retelling of the Mary Shelley classic (think less chemistry experiments, more Echo and the Bunnymen).” The movie, written by Diablo Cody (Juno, Jennifer’s Body), is Williams’ feature-film directorial debut. Previously, she’s directed music videos, including JoJo’s “Save My Soul.” Williams told Rolling Stone that while she was working on many projects over Covid lockdowns, Lisa Frankenstein was the production that stuck. “The plan was not to have it be my first [movie],” she said. “But I’m very, very grateful that it was.”
In a 2016 Q&A posted to REO Speedwagon’s website, Cronin told the story of writing “Can’t Fight This Feeling.” “I was kind of a late bloomer with the ladies,” he said. “There was this girl in Chicago who I’m still in touch with to this day. … She was actually going out with one of my buddies. The first time I was introduced to her, when I saw her…it was that love-at-first-sight feeling.”
He suffered in silence until well after she broke up with his friend and he had befriended her. But he held onto that feeling until, as one might expect, he just couldn’t fight it anymore. “I wrote that song before I finally got the guts to tell her,” he said. “The song kind of came first. Then as many of my songs do, I write them and then I kind of learn about myself when I’m finished with them. So when I finished ‘Can’t Fight This Feeling,’ I realized that ‘Yeah, I’ve gotta make this move.’” Ultimately, he said, “It all came true.”