Music And Lyrics

Music And Lyrics

****

Reviewed by: Chris

Let's face it, often we go to the cinema for a bit of inconsequential fun. In case you are in any doubt, Music And Lyrics kicks off with a Wham inspired video of a band called POP. Firmly tongue in retro-chic, Hugh Grant is Alex Fletcher, the washed up ex-front man of POP, now playing the nostalgia circuit for middle-aged housewives. He meets bubbly Sophie Fisher (Drew Barrymore), who waters the plants in his apartment and has a knack for writing lyrics. This saves his day when current pop diva Cora Corman (Haley Bennett) asks him to write and record a duet with her.

Chances are you are now reaching for the vomit bag, or saying, “This sounds like quite a giggle.” If you can stomach the idea of Grant singing his own songs and staging a come back, then rest assured, this is a very polished and unsubstantial rom-com. He and Barrymore propel the movie with energy, wit and a warm, lovable enthusiasm. While doing little more than playing different aspects of themselves, they give delightful performances, backed up with catchy tunes. Also, the film offers a fabulous debut for Bennett and a heartfelt, realistic script.

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Cora is a teenage megastar, somewhere between Shakira, Britney Spears and a youthful Madonna. Her elaborate stage shows have a “Buddhism & Thong” (mysticism and sex) philosophy. Here, as with Alex and Sophie, the echelons of the music biz seem truthfully portrayed. While the love match seems unbelievable at first, by the end we want Hugh and Drew to continue their romance offscreen, just as with the classic soppy movies of the Thirties.

By any mainstream yardstick, Music And Lyrics is a success. The film is as unpretentious as its two leading players, makes no great claims and satisfies Valentine's Day release requirements with a sincerity that takes it a notch above the average cheese. Casting is spot on, even down to Sophie's older (much larger) sister, who has similar characteristics and mannerisms.

It is easy viewing and even contains nothing unsuitable for older children. For straightforward enjoyment, it slides down like a very reasonable Chardonnay - silly, formulaic, but rather well done.

Reviewed on: 14 Feb 2007
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A has-been pop star makes beautiful music with the potted plant maintenance girl.
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Angus Wolfe Murray **1/2

Director: Marc Lawrence

Writer: Marc Lawrence

Starring: Hugh Grant, Drew Barrymore, Brad Garrett, Campbell Scott, Haley Bennett, Kristen Johnston, Jason Antoon, Billy Griffith

Year: 2007

Runtime: 104 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US

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