Back in the 80's, Pop was a popular music group. Then they broke up, and former member Alex Fletcher (Hugh Grant) has struggled ever sense. In fact, his most exciting career opportunity is a potential appearance on "Battle of the 80's Has Beens."
Alex's manager Chris (Brad Garrett) usually only comes up with nostalgia gigs at fairs, amusement parks, and reunions, and even those are drying up. But then Chris comes up with the potential comeback vehicle. Pop sensation Cora Corman (Haley Bennet) is looking for a new song. Unfortunately, it has to be done in only a few days, and Alex can't write lyrics.
Sophia (Drew Barrymore) has recently started watering Alex's plants, and her mutterings while he's working on the song show she has a wonderful way with lyrics. He immediately enlists her to write the lyrics for the songs. While she resists at first, she eventually gives in and the two begin to work on the perfect love song. And sparks begin to fly between them. Will this turn into something more?
This is a charming, witty romantic comedy. It combines funny situations with witty dialogue. It even mocks 80's music (especially in the hilarious Pop music video that opens the film) and today's pop divas.
Yet it has heart. The plot is predictable, but the characters are great and easy to root for. I even found myself chocking up a time or two.
And the acting is spot on. Hugh Grant is a great singer as well. Drew Barrymore isn't as strong at singing, but she really only has to sing in one song. Brad Garrett plays more of a straight man then I expected. Haley Bennet is hilarious as the current pop sensation and easily stole every scene she was in.
Obviously, music plays a major part in the movie. They've got everything from 80's pop cheese to a modern duet. None of the songs are annoying, however. In fact, the music is so fun I'm quite tempted to go out and get the soundtrack.
The movie's PG-13 rating comes mainly from the sexually suggestive dance moves done by the singers. This isn't anything you haven't seen on MTV, but the movie still would have been better off without it.
I laughed the entire way through this fun film. It really is heart warming and entertaining.
on 23 July 2007
Drew Barrymore, quietly radiant, is Sophie, the underachieving girl Friday who arrives to water--make that overwater--Alex's plants--and to explode him out of that comfy rut. If the plot's a bit farfetched, it matters not, since the two lead characters are so likable--and make such beautiful music together. Big bonus: the supportive role of Kristen Johnston as Rhonda, Sophie's older sis (and longtime Alex fan) whose hilarious performance threatens to steal the show whenever she's onscreen. (The owner of a chain of successful weight-loss centers, Rhonda tries to comfort a rattled Sophie: "Want to do some stress eating?") The film also marks the remarkable debut of Haley Bennett, who plays a pop star of Britney/Cristina proportions with deadpan sincerity radiating through her skimpy outfits and mega-extensions. As Alex and Sophie work on crafting musical magic, something else is taking hold. It's music to the ears of anyone needing a sweet romantic comedy that hits all the right notes. Very good - buy it!
on 20 May 2007
To really appreciate this film some background knowledge/appreciation of the music of the 80's is a must. Without said knowledge RELAX, tagged at the end of Frankie goes to Hollywood, would be meaningless. The obvious reference to WHAM is very clever. I did not have to Google to unearth the 'other bloke'(Andrew Ridgeley)- I tend to remember music trivia. I laughed when I saw this at the cinema and the humour still had me laughing when I watched on DVD. The hip gyrations were first seen as performed by the PM in Love Actually!
on 8 July 2007
Sure. Why not? The first question in assessing a movie's merit is does it do as intended?
With "Music and Lyrics," what it intends is nothing extraordinary. It aims to be a fun, romantic, sweet comedy of a man meeting a woman and falling love, with a poke at pop culture. It accomplishes this. I saw this on February 14, Valentine's Day, and wanted exactly as delivered.
Paul McCartney asked in the 1970s what the world needs with another silly love song. "Music and Lyrics" is, in film, a silly love song.
Hugh Grant plays Alex Fletcher, a has-been pop singer from a defunct duo similar to Wham!, struggles to find his way as his audience stops caring. Realistic, he knows what he is capable of, but is unsure what his next step should be.
When Cora, a pretentious form of Britney Spears-Shakira-Christina Aguilera of sex-pop, offers him an opportunity to write a song, he runs into trouble. He is a melody man, not a lyricist. His lyricist from his old band, Pop!, is long gone.
In walks Sophie Fisher, played with charm by the ever-sweet Drew Barrymore. She's Alex's temporary plant watering person (and not a very good one), with a penchant for delivery peppy lyrics under her breath. Despite the scorn of fill-in wordsmith Greg Antonsky, Alex takes a liking to her style. Greg's angst-style, hopeless lyrics seem off kilter with Alex's personality.
Embittered from a broken affair with an engaged man, Sophie is uninterested. It is one thing to hum a tune, and it is another to commit to writing a song. However, Alex only has a few days and pressures (begs, really), Sophie to help.
She acquiesces, and tries to write. Alex and Sophie clash, as he understands the profession of music, and is desperate, and she is still stuck on the failed affair.
Both are living in the past, and both need to move up into 2007 to survive and thrive.
Finally, lyrics are written, and Cora loves them -- with a few changes. Cora's version is laced with faux spirituality and tramped-up seduction. Sophie's artistic sensibilities are insulted, and pulls the song much to Alex's chagrin. They argue, break-up, and now, Alex is stuck trying to fix a song.
Can he fix the song on time? Will they figure out how to live in the present day? What about love (this is a romantic commedy, remember?).
A fine self-mocking performance is put on by Kristen Johnston as Sophie's older sister Rhonda, making jabs at her own weight-loss campaign. Brad Garrett as Alex's agent Chris Riley is right on the money, as he is both a manager and friend.
Drew Barrymore shows she's more than the girl next door, but has a kind of Lucille Ball, Jenna Elfman, Meg Ryan mix going on.
Hugh Grant is perfectly cast, and is the better side of himself. He never overplays the role, and yet, does not fall into the 'stupid Englishman' persona he occasionally does.
I fully recommend "Music and Lyrics."
I didn't have particularly high expectations of this film... but found myself pleasantly surprised. Especially by Hugh Grant's performance as an Andrew Ridgeley-esque 'has-been' 80's pop performer. The pop pastiche elements of this film are really well done - the 80s-styled 'PoP goes my heart' video is a particular gem, but Hugh Grant's 'has-been' character's performances in dismal bookings at high school reunion evenings and local fairs are also well worth watching.
The plot - with Grant's character desperately latching onto his plant waterer (Drew Barrymore) as a lyricist to help him come up with a song to appeal to current hot artist Cora Corman within a very short time frame, and falling in love along the way - is pretty unremarkable rom com fare, though nonetheless appealing enough. But it's the catchy, convincingly styled songs - and most notably Grant's performances - that raise this to above average.
on 13 September 2007
The opening video is so incredibly funny. We kept rewinding the scene. It is such a typical sounding 80's song, and the video is SO funny. It sums up the 80's to perfection. Hugh is brilliant and his funny dance moves will have you laughing out aloud. You will be singing the song all day.
OK it's a predictable film. The ending could have been a bit better. Hugh Grant looks very good. Nice body there Hugh!! Drew Barrymore is beautiful, sweet and a natural actress.
It's a pleasant film, with some very funny bits. Hugh Grant is a lovable character. He is a legend, we all love him.
Note to 'Working Title' please make a sequel film and go back in time about the group in this film and have more of Hugh dancing and singing. Pop goes my Heart..MORE PLEASE !!!
I never thought I would give anything with Hugh Grant in it 5 stars!, but there you go.
This is a light romantic comedy. The plot has been done many times.
Boy finds girl, boy loses girl, boy finds girl again. However, this is set against the background of the music industry and really works.
The chemistry between the two leads is excellent.
If this is your thing, go for it. I don't think you'll be disappointed. Rates very highly in the family entertainment category too!
This is a very formulaic romantic comedy in which Hugh Grant plays Hugh 2.0, the character he's been trotting out since About A Boy (very similar to Hugh 1.0 popularized by 4 Weddings and a Funeral but with less floppy hair and more sarcasm). Drew Barrymore plays her trademark kook. Again.
The movie doesn't waste a second in establishing the unlikely set up. Blink and you'll miss how an `80's pop has been' and a woman who waters house plants decide to write a song together.
It's easy to tear films like this apart for lacking imagination but that misses the point. Music and Lyrics is supposed to be lightly entertaining feel good comedy and it does the job fine. There are some very funny lines and it safely passes the Radio 5's Mark Kermode test ("if you don't laugh 6 times it isn't a comedy"). Grant and Barrymore are sympathetic (if a little synthetic) and I was on their side from early on.
The film looses some momentum during the final reel which takes place at a pop concert. This scene starts well as a pretty accurate pastiche of a Britney or Christina show, but it looses pace and feels like a bit of a let down. The genre defining rom coms often have a character doing something over the top and romantic in the final act, but here the leads just kiss back stage. It's an underwhelming finale to an other satisfying film.
Music and Lyrics may not be a classic but it's certainly entertaining and perfect for a lazy afternoon.