Directed by Marc Lawrence
Alex Fletcher (Hugh Grant) use to be in a 1980s pop band that was briefly popular with a few hits. His writing partner, who wrote the lyrics, went on to be a solo star and Alex faded into obscurity until the inevitable revival came along. Now he lives off his former fame playing fairs, conventions and other small venues – though that, too, is now drying up.
An opportunity comes along to save his flagging career when pop sensation Cora asks him to write a hit song in just a few days. Unfortunately for Alex, he can’t write lyrics to save his life.
He needs a lyricist. What will he do?
Then Sophie comes along (Drew Barrymore), filling in for his plant lady. She’s a basket case of neuroses, hypochondria and heaven knows what all else.
She’s also a natural for lyric writing. Of course, the two of them hit it off in an “opposites must attract” kind of way.
A romance develops and, as might be anticipated, numerous complications come about.
There is more to the movie Music and Lyrics but this is the heart of it. It’s a light, romantic comedy – very much a Marc Lawrence kind of thing – and it’s great fun to watch. I think it’s one of Lawrence’s better films and also one of Grant’s better performances, though he basically plays Hugh Grant. But I tend to like that.
One element of the movie’s fun is how well they mimic the 80s video look and sound. The movie begins and ends with the video, ‘Pop! Goes My Heart,’ and it’s perfectly cheesy and silly in the way many of the videos of the time were. It also captures the light pop sound perfectly. It’s almost like uncovering an unknown Duran Duran video from about 1984.
I don’t think this is a movie that will stand up to a great deal of scrutiny but I don’t think it really tries to. It’s intended to be a light film, perhaps even a disposable one. As others have pointed out, without its two stars it probably wouldn’t fly. There are a number of smaller storylines that seem pointless, even in the way (like the one about Sophie’s ex-flame).
The movie works best when Grant is on screen; second when Barrymore is with him (though her “quirky” quality is a bit excessive).
Overall, however, I liked this movie. But then I like romantic comedies, even when they aren’t four star gems (which are few and far between).
And of course, there are those peppy pop tunes.
Pop! Goes My Heart