One of the late John Hughes’s less well-received films, Dutch was a road movie with Ed O’Neill driving his girlfriend’s obnoxious son home for Thanksgiving. Director Peter Faiman’s only previous film was Crocodile Dundee – and he would never make another. Alan Silvestri was frequently juggling action movies and lighter comedies at the time (Dutch comes between Soapdish and Ricochet in his filmography!) and this film certainly allowed him to explore his lighter side a little more. Like comedy scores sometimes do, the music does flit around between different styles rather a lot, but despite that the album flows reasonably well.
It starts with the light jazz of the main title, continued in the lengthy source cue “Party” which follows, so at first one is lured into expecting that sort of style to continue, but after the following track (an excerpt from Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto!) it remains largely orchestral. There’s a brief choral interlude (“Campus Choir”) and a piece of madcap circus music (“Fireworks”) but otherwise, the underscore is reasonably standard stuff from Silvestri. The highlights are at the end, with a really beautiful, sweet theme emerging in “The Shelter” – sweet enough to rot your teeth, in fact, but you’d have to have a pretty hard heart to dislike it. The theme gets an even more swelling arrangement in the final cue. This isn’t a classic Silvestri score by any means, but it’s a very enjoyable one, with a big heart. ***