Music and Lyrics
Although he may look a like man that pays for sex, struggling ex-pop impresario, Alex Fletcher (Hugh Grant), has a rather perplexing dilemma he can not splash away.
You see, Alex has been given a great opportunity to write a new song entitled 'A Way Back into Love', for the teenage sex-kitten come jail-bait, Cora Corman (Haley Bennett). However, I'm afraid to say that Alex has always left it up to his ex-band mate, Colin (Scott Porter), to write the lyrics for him. Whilst he, in turn, used to compose the music.
Oh, well. Lets fact it. What Alex really needs at the moment is someone who can collaborate with him. Who though? Huh? Himself? No. That's sounds too much like hard work. OK then, what about a professional lyricist instead? No! Sod That. Alex just hires the pretty lady who waters his plants for him instead -- called Sophie Fisher (Drew Barrymore) -- because on some strange level, they seem to get along.
Granted, Sophie isn't too keen on working with Alex in this capacity at first. She'd rather just splash her liquid onto his begonias. But over time she reluctantly concedes to his charms, and the two of them incrementally unify Alex’s music to Sophie’s words one octave at a time, until they can finally finish creating Cora's song.
Wait up! That isn't the only thing which they unify. Oh no. They also grow closer and closer together as people too, resulting in them making a melody of another kind in the bedroom, hint-hint!
Now isn't that just great news? Alex and Sophie a couple. Furthermore, to make this time even more sweater for them, Cora falls in love's the song that they wrote, and she intends to include it on her new tour / album.
Wow! What can go wrong for them now, huh?
Regrettably, this nose dive begins when Sophie and Alex discover that Cora is going to sex-up their song in her act. This then continues when Sophie threatens to confront Cora about this terrible turn of events. And finally it continues further when both Alex and Sophie have a fight during this very emotional time.
Bugger! What a drag! Maybe that is why what next transpires really kicks off when lovers part ways. As words are conveyed - music is played - songs are conveyed - and love is made.
I'm sure that you know the type of thing I'm referring to, dear reader. Boy meets girl - boy and girl fall in love - boy and girl have an argument and spit - and finally... well... you know the rest. Zzzzz. Granted, I understand that life can be very predictable where emotions and happenstance at times. Though why do we have to see this God damn thing again and again and in the movies, just because 'Actor A' and 'Actress B' are suddenly deemed 'hot' in the eyes of the media?
Poor 'Music and Lyrics'. This rom-com hasn't got a chance with me, does it?
Granted, the pretext is a very good pretext to channel emotion through. Giving it the scope to comment on the music industry, whilst at the same time allowing the main characters the chance to play cat and mouse in a rather lyrical manner. Moreover, I am a big fan of all the cast as well. Drew’s Drew. She’s as lovable as ever; and effervescently shows and emotes her beauty as per her usual high standard. Hugh’s Hugh. Doing the Englishman bit as only he can, and playing with the whole ex-pop star persona as if he was made for the part. Plus I have to admit, there were a few scenes that I really did enjoy also. Especially Hugh’s ‘lounge act’ segments, and the whole 'family dynamic' Drew had on offer also.
So why did the story have to be so bloody predictable God damn it! Heck, I could just tell after watching the first ten minutes of this movie how it was going to turn out. Giving nothing more than a join the dot’s version of ‘A fine romance’. Shame really, because I generally wanted to enjoy this picture, and did in places. But by in large it's one of those films that you can see coming a mile off.
Here, before I start on another rant again, please check out some of these film related facts: (1) Hugh Grant originally did not want to sing in this flick, because he thought that he couldn't do it very well. Give him his due though, he did practice, and eventually managed to find a way to convince himself that he would be able to perform on stage. Which he did. Still, upon hearing his voice in playback, he requested that the voice of the vocal coach, Michael Rafter, be used instead of his. (2) As well as coming from very famous ancestry, Drew Barrymoore's Godparents are Sophia Loren and Anna Strasberg. Plus the doctor who delivered her was Paul Fleiss; the Father of Heidi Fleiss [click here for a Heidi related review]. (3) The lead singer of the eighties pop band 'ABC' taught Hugh how to sing and dance for this project. (4) The working title of this piece was 'Music and Lyrics By...'. (5) Drew was the guest host when Andy Kaufman was voted out of 'Saturday Night Live'. (6) A younger Hugh Grant was taught piano briefly by Andrew Lloyd Webber's mother. (7) Drew has a couple of connections to people in the music business. She was in a relationship with 'The Strokes' drummer, Fabrizo Moretti. And she is the Godmother of Frances Bean, daughter of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love. (8) When this film premiered in Amsterdam, some crazy b*tch pretended to interview Hugh, but ended up handcuffing herself to him and attempting to run way. And (9) Drew Barrymore is fourteen years younger than Hugh.
Overall 'Music and Lyrics' felt more like ‘muzhik and bollix’ (‘muzhik’ mean ‘pleasant’ in Russian and 'bollix' is pretty self explanatory really). What a shame. The performances were nice. The pretext was an interesting one. And it had the potential to be a really great film. Agreed Hugh?
Say no more.
THE RATING: C+