Movie Review by Neil Sadler
Starring: Hugh Grant, Drew Barrymore, Brad Garrett, Kristen Johnston
Director: Marc Lawrence
Pop is a fickle business. The bands and artists that filled concert halls five years ago often find themselves forgotten and dreaming of past glories now.
And yet pop is also endlessly enjoyable in the moment. After a few drinks, in a loud bar or club, there is something quite hypnotic about a good pop song, the singer and even what they are saying really don’t matter, which is why a good pop song can be a success even in countries where few people speak the language.
MUSIC AND LYRICS is the film equivalent of a good pop song and it is good. You could easily have placed a dozen other stars in the place of Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore and the effect would have been much the same.
The plot is obvious. The script forgettable and the tension almost non-existent. But hell, is it enjoyable! I sat through the film with a grin on my face and, lost in the moment, even managed a few laughs and even felt the beginnings of less manly emotions.
Hugh Grant plays movie Hugh Grant – a shallow English faded star – an Andrew Ridgely to an unseen superstar former band mate. He is self deprecating and vain in equal measure and he does it very well.
Drew Barrymore is quirky and troubled yet with a heart of gold and a talent in which she has no faith and, as with Grant, makes it seem effortless. In an alternative world, this is Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston’s follow-up to ALONG CAME POLLY. Grant doesn’t quite have Stiller’s other worldly neurosis and Barrymore doesn’t quite match Aniston’s instant likeability but it follows a similar formula. We even have the obligatory “funnier than the leads” sidekicks, Brad Garret and Kirsten Johnson. As Grant’s tireless agent and Barrymore’s Fletcher-obsessed sister, they add a warm accompaniment to the film’s major theme.
It isn’t a great film, but you don’t need me to tell you that. You know exactly what you are going to get with MUSIC AND LYRICS but that doesn’t stop it being an enjoyable way to spend your two hours. Take someone you love this valentine’s day – have a pizza and a bottle of wine before you go (drink responsibly though, people) and you’ll have a great evening. You will have forgotten it by the time summer comes but don’t worry, there will be another film with other stars that does much the same thing. After all, it’s only pop.