Music and Lyrics

Music and Lyrics is what I’d call an easy rom-com. The humor is low key, the laughs aren’t forced, the movie’s amiable and friendly, and you walk out feeling content. The only part where I laughed out loud was during the music video that played over the opening credits. But I did have a good time all the way through.

Much of its charm has to do with Hugh Grant, who has become one of the most dependable rom-com stars of our time. He still plays a mostly content underachiever, but the affected stutter that served him so well in Four Weddings and a Funeral (and not so well afterwards) has been replaced by a combination of easy confidence and wry, self-deprecating humor. Here he does pretty much all the heavy lifting while his co-star (Drew Barrymore) simply plays her part. The two of them look cute together (yeah, cute – can’t find a better word for it) and manage to get the funny parts perfectly right.

The plot, if you will: Alex Fletcher (Hugh Grant) is a musician who used to be part of an 80s group called Pop that enjoyed a brief run of success. His former bandmate has gone on to have a successful solo career while he has been reduced to playing the music man at amusement parks and fairs. His fanbase is mostly middle-aged women who used to love him back in the eighties. He now has a chance to revive his career by writing a song for Cora, a Britney-Christina-type singer. Trouble is, he has zero writing ability. Enter Sally Fisher (Drew Barrymore), a lit student who comes in to water his plants. You can make up the rest. You might be wrong on a few counts, but this is a rom-com – how does it matter?

The music is okay. Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore perform their own vocals, and are passable enough singers to make their roles credible.

The highlight, as I mentioned earlier, is the music video that plays over the opening and closing credits – typical 80s pop song, with a hip move that guarantees the necessity of replacement surgery. Grant is amazing in this video – it makes everything he does in the movie funnier, simply because your mind keeps replaying that scene whenever you see him. Barrymore is pretty much overshadowed in this movie; however, I have a soft spot for her so I’ll just blame it on the writing. The girl who plays Cora is spot-on in her imitation of Britney and the like.

On the whole, this isnt like an amazing song that you’ll list among your all-time favourites. But you’ll enjoy listening to it while it’s on.

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