The one scene in Donnie Darko that bothers me.

Cellar Door. Its phonaesthetics only poster child.

Donnie Darko is one of the most thought provoking films out there. Its one of my favorites, but one scene always sends me for a loop. Its not that its bad acting or writing, nor is it inaccurate. However, it is Mr. Tolkien that throws me into disarray. In his essay 'English and Welsh' (1955) he claims that the English compound noun Cellar Door is profoundly the most beautiful sounding. There have been further studies, but there isn't any supporting scientific evidence for this claim. Even linguistically there is no definitive sound that is the most beautiful.

My theory is that, as Tolkien was the avid linguistic and fan of mythology, he developed a connection with the words, either by personal experience or research. When interviewed about his essay Tolkien explained that "...his stories grew out of words. Supposing you say some quite ordinary words to me-'cellar door', say. From that , I might thing of a name, 'Selador', and from that character, a situation begins to grow."

Random Facts:

Donnie Darko is also Seth Rogan's film debut.

A picture of Hunter S. Thompson ( of Fear and Loathing fame) is mimicked in the party scene, by the guy in the Regan mask jumping on the trampoline.