Seth Olenick/Corbis Outline

Seth Olenick/Corbis OutlineMusic has played a pivotal part in many movies by director/producer/writer Judd Apatow. This Is 40, his new film starring Paul Rudd and Apatow’s real-life wife, Leslie Mann, is no exception, featuring songs from Fiona Apple and the recently reunited Graham Parker and The Rumour. We asked Apatow to sound off on his favorite musical moments from his projects.

Song: “Dull Tool” by Fiona Apple
Used in: This Is 40
“I asked Fiona Apple to read the script and, a few months later, this song landed in my mailbox. It is so truthful it hurts. I feel like she did the Vulcan mind meld on me when I hear it.”

Song: “Local Girls” by Graham Parker and The Rumour
Used in: This Is 40
“Graham sings this song live in This Is 40. This is one of my favorite songs of all time. Heartbreaking and beautiful.”

Song: “Furry Walls” performed by Russell Brand
Used in: Get Him to the Greek
“The scene when P. Diddy rubbed the furry wall got such huge laughs that we decided to end the movie with the song, which was inspired by that moment. It is one of my few songwriting credits. Look out, Diane Warren.”

Song: “Jesus, Etc.” by Wilco
Used in: Funny People
“No matter where I am, if this song comes on, I start crying. Oh boy, I’m doing it right now.”

Song: “Walk Hard” by John C. Reilly
Used in: Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
“I don’t think it is a funny song, just solid advice.”

Song: “Daughter” performed by Loudon Wainwright III
Used in: Knocked Up
“I saw Loudon Wainwright sing this song in concert and realized my entire film Knocked Up needed to lead to him performing this song. It was written by Peter Blegvad and perfectly captures how it feels to be a father. Oh no, I’m crying again.”

Song: “Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In” from the soundtrack to Hair
Used in: The 40-Year-Old Virgin
“When Steve Carell decided that the movie had to end with Andy singing a song of joy and release, I immediately said it had to be [the lyrics] ‘let the sun shine in.’ When Steve cut loose singing this, people would explode in the theater. They felt his relief!”

Song: “Life of Illusion” by Joe Walsh
Used in: The 40-Year-Old Virgin (title sequence)
“One day my wife, Leslie Mann, put it on and said, ‘This has to be in your movie.’ Usually we argue about music, but on this day, she was right.”

Song: “I’m One” by The Who
Used in: Freaks and Geeks
“I used this song in an episode when we see Bill Haverchuck alone at home after school watching Garry Shandling on The Dinah Shore Show. It is a sad, funny scene that kind of captures all of life for me.”

Song: “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett
Used in: Freaks and Geeks
“I remember the moment [music supervisor] Amanda Scheer-Demme played this song for me and we realized it was the perfect theme song for Freaks and Geeks. Then Shrek used it, and now people think it is the Shrek wrestling song. Boo Shrek!”