Last night I took in a late movie with a marvelous friend. The film, "Music and Lyrics" stars Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore as an unlikely duo who end up writing a hit song together.
Grant plays Alex Fletcher, a self-proclaimed Has-Been in the pop music industry who now sings at high school reunions and theme parks regaling his glory days as one of the main pair that headlined a pop music group funnily enough called "Pop". We even get to see one of their 80's hit music videos in full black and white checker and cheesy over the top thrusting dance moves the group became famous for (an coincidentally lead to many hip replacements later in life!)
As Fletcher's career is winding down and he scrambles to find a way to stay a float as a musician, a current pop star, Cora, makes it known she enjoyed some of his earlier hits as a child and offers to let him write her a brand new song in a few days and to perform it with her to kick off her new tour.
Though excited by the offer, Fletcher was always the melody composer and never god at writing lyrics. His manager finds a lyricist who seems bent on dark and dreary and while they being to work on the song in Fletcher's bachelor apartment, he finds his regular plant watering girl replaced by a substitute, the chattery and hypochondriac Sophie Fisher. Sophie begins quietly finishing their lines of lyrics with quirky but catchy phrases and suddenly Fletcher is intrigued and the hired lyricist is out and he tried to convince Sophie she can help him write this new hit song.The dynamic between Grant and Barrymore sparks fun, wit and a natural romantic chemistry. The two work well in this comedic role; Grant is no longer his foppish, blustering self but a confident and comfortable musician who breaks through somewhat of a fear barrier and Barrymore excels at her typical sprightliness but with a hint of sadness and a touch of the pathetic as her character seeks to get over a past love and dare to love again.
Two of the supporting characters are also excellent in this film. Brad Garrett ( Robert of Everybody Loves Raymond) plays the eager suck-up of a manager, and Kristen Johnston (Third Rock from the Sun) plays Sophie's older sister and a crazed fan of Fletcher and "POP".
Though this movie never completely wowed me, the story stayed amusing and the characters seemed like someone we all might know. The romance was never contrived or forced, only simple, sweet and on the non-commercial side. (For example, when Fletcher decided to push around Sophie's past guy, instead of a typical fist-fight in a restaurant, Fletcher's arms are twisted, his face ends up in the butter and somewhere in the mix is a sharp dinner roll!)
The BEST part I found is the theme of this movie - Love can be separated into two parts like Music: the Melody which represents the good feelings and the passion, and the Lyrics, the words that are getting to know someone, finding out all about them and spending time together.
So if you are looking for a light, fun, and feel-good story that pushed the mold a little, go see Music and Lyrics!
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