Saturday, 19 September 2020
Music and Lyrics
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Wednesday, 21 February 2007 00:00
Much like the no-talent pop singers it mocks, Music and Lyrics starts out on a high note that it can’t sustain for long. The latest romantic pairing of cute and quirky Drew Barrymore with the daft but dashing Hugh Grant gives us lots to laugh about but mucks it up with too much baggage.

Hugh Grant definitely shines in this movie as Alex Fletcher, a washed up 80’s pop star who has been reduced to performing at county fairs and amusement parks. His aging fan-base now women entering menopause. Despair sets in when he’s asked to appear on a reality TV show called “Battle of the 80’s Has-Beens”. He gets a last chance to revive his career by writing a new song for pop diva Cora Corman (think Britney) and of course he jumps at the opportunity. The problem is he can write melody, but not lyric which he demonstrates by rhyming the words “you and me” with “autopsy”. Enter Drew Barrymore as Sophie, a girl who seems to have an untapped potential for writing bad poetry, AKA pop songs. The two should make a perfect team but of course nothing is ever as easy as it seems.

Grant’s roles remain the same; bumbling charmers who stumble over words and always seem to look slightly disheveled. But he does what he does so well it’s impossible to begrudge him. This movie is a great showcase for his self-deprecating humor, the best part being the music video for “Pop Goes My Heart” that plays during the opening credits. Something about that Duran Duran hair, tight pants and hurt puppy-dog face made me howl with laughter. Not to mention the signature “PoP!” dance move.

Barrymore on the other hand, though still her bubbly self, doesn’t bring as much charm to this performance as she has to past films such as The Wedding Singer. It’s almost as though she is at a loss for words when up against Grant who calls her such witty names as “Cole Porter in panties”. With two such likeable leads one would expect the chemistry to be great in this film, but unfortunately it falls a little flat.

The movie comes off strongest while simply being a silly spoof on the pop music industry. The fake videos and ridiculous songs are memorable and will have you humming long afterwards despite your best efforts not to. Newcomer Haley Bennett plays Cora perfectly, looking flawless and ditzy but with an air of aloofness that only comes from having your every whim catered to. Her character prides herself on spiritual awareness but meanwhile her biggest hit song is titled “Welcome to Bootie Town”.

Overall Music and Lyrics is much like the pop songs it pokes fun at: upbeat and catchy but easily forgettable. I give it 5 out of 10 stars.