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Music & Lyrics

(originally posted by Jamie Kelwick at his own site -- www.the-usher.com.)

The forgotten singer from the 80s music sensation 'Pop', Alex Fletcher (Hugh Grant) makes a living playing school reunions and fun fairs. Things begin to look up when the princess of pop Cora Corman (Haley Bennett) asks him to write a song for her new album. The problem is that Alex hasn't written anything in ten years.

Struggling with the lyrics, his plant carer Sophie (Drew Barrymore) offers some suggestions that make Alex believe that she could be the answer to his problems.

When it comes to defining Hugh Grant's career, he will be quite rightly hailed as the king of the romantic comedy, but is that a good thing?

Grant has been saying for years that he wants to move away from the romantic comedy genre, but every time he tries to move away he gets dragged back in. Music and Lyrics is a rom-com by numbers and Hugh is very at home in the role of former 80s pop star Alex Fletcher. His only challenge for this movie is something that we haven't seen him do before: sing.

As the forgotten member of 80s sensations 'Pop', Hugh plays a character much like Andrew Ridgley from 'Wham!', left behind as his singing partner Colin Thompson went onto superstardom as a solo artist. With the advent of reality TV and the fascination with pop stars from the past, 80s icons are making a comeback and even working with modern, popular artists. The premise of the movie picks up on this new trend but only just works as a movie.

The main reason for the film working is the presence of Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. Both performers are seasoned professionals when it comes to this genre and 'Music and Lyrics' reveals again why they are continually cast in these types of movies. As the muse for Grant's Alex Fletcher, Drew's Sophie is the usual slightly ditsy, a little bit weird but instantly loveable and much like every other romantic comedy character she has ever played.

This isn't a bad thing for the movie but it does make you think that, along with Hugh Grant, she is also been pigeon holed into this genre. The pair is helped by good performances from Kristen Johnston as Sophie's sister Rhonda and an eye-catching performance from Haley Bennett as music super vixen Cora Corman.

'Music and Lyrics' is a romantic comedy by the numbers and brings absolutely nothing new to the genre but it is still enjoyable. This all because of the film's two extremely likeable stars that make this movie just…nice.


(for the American perspective, click here)

Jamie Kelwick

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