Monday, March 19, 2007

"MUSIC AND LYRICS"

Hugh Grant, Drew Barrymore, Brad Garrett, Haley Bennett,
Campbell Scott, Kristen Johnston




You mention HUGH GRANT and I would be among the first in line to watch his movies. Except this time I was distracted by a couch potato activity (i.e watching the complete DVD set of some TV shows) so I missed "Music and Lyrics" run at the cinemas. But fear not, there is always the local video store or your nearest OPM (original pirated movies) stall to the rescue. Actually I wanted to rent "American Dreamz" but it was out.


How you can you not love Hugh Grant? I'm talking to the ladies but if you're a guy and you're inclined to love him too then by all means, be my guest. He usually portrays some miserable poor sod who acts like a bumbling idiot but he always get the girl in the end. Hurray! Perfect leading (romantic comedy) guy material to the core. Judging from the few times I've caught his interviews on talk shows, he is just as miserable (he even calls himself a miserablist according to this article in a local newspaper), as witty with his distinct British dry humor as he is on screen. I mean gee the guy can't seem to get settled in his life, always breaking off his relationships with some of the most gorgeous women in the world (Elizabeth Hurley, Jemima Khan). He probably has this worry wart complex with some very deep commitment issues. He seems the type who rather not have kids at all and by jolly that for me is very sexy. Yes I'm not into marriage, kids and the whole shebang either. So there!


Anyways back to "Music and Lyrics", it starts with a video of a group known as Pop!, a major band in the mid 80s complete with an early MTV style, 80s hairdo, tight pants singing their biggest hit. It was a hilarious opening scene. It reminded me of the bands I grew up listening like Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, REO Speedwagon, Fra Lippo Lippi during my high school days. Fast forward to present day, Andy Fletcher who was a member of the group is now going solo. He performs at state fairs, high school reunions and basically living the life of a has been pop star. A life someone like Andrew Ridgely from WHAM might be living right now. Heh! His ever faithful manager gets him an audience with Cora Corman, the latest pop princess who is into the whole spiritual karmic crap. She is coming up with a new album and having been a big fan of the group Pop!, she wants Andy Fletcher to write a new single which they will perform together as a duet. One problem - Andy Fletcher doesn't write lyrics. He mostly composes music. So under pressure to have a new song by the end of the week, Andy enlists the help of his 'plant woman', Sophie Fisher (Drew Barrymore). She seems to have a way with words so together they collaborate to come up with a catchy tune with a pop beat. Voila - the lyrics to "Way back into Love" is born.

The first part of the film shows how Andy and Sophie brainstorm together to come up with a song. References to other 80s group/stars provided good fodder for a funny dialogue and some witty one liners. So that was fairly tolerable. But of course, a film needs to have some conflict to add up some dramatic moments. In "Music and Lyrics" it comes in the form of Sophie suddenly backing out from supporting the 'karmic' way that Cora has butchered "Way back into Love" That is when the film gets dragging and is pulled out from every angle to prolong the silence treatment drama between the two main characters. For a moment there I lost interest on whether Andy and Sophie would kiss and make up. Franky, I couldn't care less if they did. Then comes the very corny "I'm openly declaring my love moment" ending which I fully expected to happen. Truth be told, the song "Way back into Love" itself was rather cheesy. The lyrics was saccharine sweet but felt like the composition of a nine year old while the music did indeed have a catchy tune it was rather amateurish. The boring interpretation sounded like a commercial jingle duet between a washed up singer and dare I say a Paris Hilton lookalike who even sounds like the hotel heiress. Ugh. It reminded me of that song from "Duets." You know the song sang by Gwyneth Paltrow and Huey Lewis but at least "Cruisin'" sounded more professional.

But the movie wasn't that bad. It had its share of funny one liners to salvage it. They were mostly uttered by Hugh Grant in his typical deadpan dry humor style with his cute British accent. Drew Barrymore is her usual quirky self. Their portrayal of Sophie and Andy were credible and they clicked as a (love) team. The cutesy factor working in their favor. The supporting cast were not intrusively annoying. It is best to just rent the film, watch it one lazy weekend when you want to chuckle a few times and simply chillax - a word which I recently found out means a combination of chill and relax.

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