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Music and Lyrics
Genre Romance
Year: 2007
Music and Lyrics stars Hugh Grant as Alex Fletcher, and Drew Barrymore as Sophie Fisher. This funny, entertaining and romantic film is written and directed by Marc Lawrence who has plenty of romantic comedy writing experience under his belt including: The Out-of-Towners, Miss Congeniality and Two Weeks Notice. Lawrence worked with Grant in Two Weeks Notice, and has been linked to several Sandra Bullock films. It shows. Lawrence is no stranger to the genre, and neither are Grant or Barrymore.This musical comedy reminded me of The Wedding Singer in many respects. In fact, this could’ve been a spin-off from the scene when Robbie (Adam Sandler) is presented with a gift of “Music and Lyrics by Robbie Hart” music stationary by Julia (Drew Barrymore). The humour is what differentiates the two, and although The Wedding Singer was just as funny, the comedy in Music and Lyrics is more subtle.

Alex Fletcher is a glorified “has-been”, technically a 90s has-been, since the band ended in the early nineties. He’s been relegated to mini-concerts for amusement park openings, and high school reunions. He’s still got the right stuff to rehash some old numbers with a hip sway here and there, but needs fresh material - urgently! The new kid-on-the-block (in a good way) is a mish-mash of Britney, Christina and Madonna. She’s the new ‘it’ girl and they call her Cora. Haley Bennett plays Cora, and there’s no doubt she’s going to make a knock-out Hollywood success story with her stunning figure and smouldering looks (she dropped 10 pounds for the role!).

Alex is given an opportunity to resurrect his music career with Cora’s help. She’s a huge fan of Fletcher and his work with a once popular band called Pop (ironic). Fletcher is given an ultimatum, and his new song gets the go-ahead with the help of ‘plantgirl’ Drew Barrymore. The two write the song together, and grow intimate as the unveiling of the new song arrives. Sophie is trying to come to terms with some ghosts from her past, and so is Alex. The two are a slightly odd-but-cute couple, and their relationship is bolstered by their passion for music and lyrics.

Music and Lyrics is an excellent piece of entertainment, and works well as a romantic comedy. The music is catchy, and you’ll find the 80s renditions enjoyable even by today’s standards. Grant plays the dry smirk humour well as always, and Barrymore basks in her usual off-beat, beautiful klutz. The two are flinchy, and contrary to any of their interviews they do seem to share a connection. Grant is ideal for his character with references to About A Boy, and Notting Hill - while Barrymore’s character is a mixture between Winona Ryder and most of her earlier work (not E.T.).

Some other stars worth mentioning: Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond), Kristen Johnston (3rd Rock from the Sun) and the versatile Jack-Blackesque Jason Antoon. Music and Lyrics isn’t as charming as The Wedding Singer but delivers a similar feeling and tempo with some fairly outrageous characters along the way. Even sloppy editing and continuity errors (watch the coffee shop scene) don’t take away from the overall experience. Harmless, romantic fun with a musical theme - you can’t go wrong. Great first date movie!

The bottom line: Charming.

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