Can a splash of song writing make this any different to the regular American rom-com?
When a washed up pop star is given the opportunity to write a song for a pop superstar, he must find a lyricist to go with his music. What he doesn’t realise is that this particular woman has problems of her own, and he must overcome them with her to get his song finished.
Straight away, Music and Lyrics introduces a running theme of naff hairstyles, songs and dance moves with the showing of an eighties pop video that involves Hugh Grant dressed up in frilly shirts, shaking his hips and jumping on the spot. It works as an effective tool to not only throw the viewer into the film but also to set the pace of these continually amusing visual gags. The film continues in this vein with Grant’s character, Alex Fletcher, performing at amusement parks and school reunions as a struggling musician that only heightens the humour of the ridiculous 80′s theme when he’s playing to adoring middle-aged fans. Part of this success is down to the surprisingly catching tunes that all have dance routines; this bold humour may well annoy some viewers, but fans of Grant and a flamboyant take on comedy may well find this hilarious, especially if you enjoyed pop music during the 80′s.
The love interest, Sophie Fisher, is a talkative, nervous individual who disrupts Fletcher’s life no end, and Drew Barrymore does a great job at making the viewer root for her despite her obsessive habits and emotional baggage. Although the romance is extremely predictable, Fletcher’s continual frustration at her makes the romance extremely entertaining as do clever one liners and quick witted exchanges between them: “I have great insight. I’d use it on myself only I don’t have any problems.” Despite all of these positives, the two main characters do fall into the same predictable love story trap, quickly falling smitten for one another, unfortunately making it a lot less unique than it could have been.
The film is a neat little parody on stardom too with a reality show of old pop stars fighting in a boxing ring being repeatedly mentioned as a decent watch: “That Debbie Gibson can take a punch.” This is mixed in with a young Shakira type figure who only wants to get naked and appear sexy, and becomes a great reflection of the pop industries ludicrous descent into recycling acts and using sex to sell. And it’s even funny too with enough satiric moments to provide some truly funny moments.
It’s certainly a clever set up, and a much more interesting love story than most with catchy songs, music industry mockery and clever dialogue but the characters themselves quickly appear to become the same old dopey eyed romantics we see in the most generic films of the genre, so it just misses the mark as a standout.
Have you seen Hugh Grant dance his butt off in this movie? Let us know what you thought of its romance, songs and comedy in the comments below