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Music and Lyrics
Verse, Chorus, Verse
Music and Lyrics
Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore Star in the Romance/Comedy "Music and Lyrics".
OPENING WEEKEND: $18,000,000
DOMESTIC TOTAL: $75,000,000
  This Film is NOT a Future Release.
  The Following Preview has been Archived.

August 11th, 2006: Alex Fletcher (Hugh Grant) is a former pop star, whose years at the top of the charts are long behind him. When the current princess of pop, Cora Corman (Haley Bennett), invites him to record a duet with her, Alex suddenly sees a chance to rejuvenate a career that has been reduced to embarrassing public appearances. If he is going to make a comeback, he only has a few days to write a catchy song for the two of them. He hasn’t written anything in years and he will definitely need some help with lyrics, which have always been a major obstacle. Fortunately for Alex, Sophie Fisher (Drew Barrymore), his quirky and lovable plant lady, is quite the wordsmith. On the rebound from a bad relationship, she is reluctant to help him out at first, fearing that their friendship may be affected. Eventually, she agrees to collaborate and as the two begin to find the right notes, there are signs of a budding romance. Alex’s chief concern, however, may be to further his career and nothing more.

What to Expect: It is really no surprise that trusty director Marc Lawrence is helming this project. A few years back he delivered his only other directing effort, the romantic comedy Two Week’s Notice, which starred the king and queen of the genre, Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock. Prior to his directorial debut, he wrote screenplays for relatively similar fare, including Forces of Nature and Miss Congeniality, which also, unsurprisingly, starred Bullock. For Music and Lyrics he will shoot from his own script. At this point, he should be an absolute expert at contriving any of the usual plot or relationship gimmicks that this film may require.

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Since queen Bullock is slowly phasing herself out of the romantic comedy genre, there will not be a Grant-Bullock reunion. Drew Barrymore steps in to take her place and while she’s no stranger to the genre either, I’m not sure that she fits in at all. I admit that she is probably the better choice given her character’s quirkiness, but she is well known for her lack of singing prowess. Barrymore lip-synched her way through Woody Allen’s Everyone Says I Love You and while that is certainly permitted, especially in Hollywood, it can come off looking phony. Watching her struggle through musical notes could definitely take away from her performance. Furthermore, I don’t really think she is an ideal match for Hugh Grant, who is Hollywood’s most obvious choice for the male lead in just about any romantic comedy. After the likes of Bullock, Julia Roberts, Julianne Moore, and Andie McDowell, Barrymore seems a bit too zany and perhaps not quite classy enough for the elegant Brit. Outside of Brad Garrett (“Everybody Loves Raymond”), who plays Alex’s manager in the movie, the comedy doesn’t really have anyone else to fall back on other than the two main stars. Quite a lot rests on their shoulders and if the chemistry between this peculiar couple is nowhere to be found, this may not turn out too pretty. At the very least, Grant should be able to charm his way through another familiar storyline as he tries to bounce back from his earlier, musically themed disaster, American Dreamz.

Music and Lyrics was shot in New York City and given its filming dates and holiday release date it is likely to feature another gorgeously snowy New York setting. It’s the ultimate backdrop to any romantic comedy, but after having seen a white Rockefeller Center dozens of times before, I’m not going to give the movie any points for originality in that department. Knowing the basic framework for the story, I’m also concerned that it will play out according to the most fundamental movie rules. I expect that Grant’s character will have to face a dramatic decision in the film’s most pivotal scene. Either he chooses a career by selling-out his friendship with Sophie and sticking to the overrated pop-star Cora against his better judgment, or he chooses love by recognizing his partnership with Sophie to be more than just a business deal. Naturally, after a very public change of character and a dramatic monologue, he will choose love and tell the pompous pop diva to scram; otherwise it just wouldn’t be a movie.

In Conclusion: If you have seen one of these films, you’ve probably seen them all. It’s not that all romantic comedies are the same, but rather that most of them play out according to the same familiar conventions. I think the film will have a nice pace to it and will feature enough of the traditionally heartwarming moments to satisfy anyone looking for a feel-good comedy at the end of the year. And there should be plenty of people who will be perfectly happy with that. Although Grant should be able to bounce back after American Dreamz, I wouldn’t expect overwhelming box-office numbers. How many times can one actor play the same tired parts in the same tired films over and over again before the public begins to ignore him? The answer is, of course, that they will never ignore him and that is why movies of this caliber continue to get made. The fact that Grant is very good at these also helps. The release of The Holiday (which features bigger stars and a more original story idea) around the same time is likely to hurt Music and Lyrics at the box-office.

Similar Titles: Two Week’s Notice, Mickey Blue Eyes, Nine Months
February 14th, 2007 (wide)
May 8th, 2007 (DVD)

Warner Bros. Pictures

Marc Lawrence

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

Total: 134 vote(s).

Comedy, Romance, Action & Adventure

Click here to view site

Rated PG-13 for some sexual content






Music and Lyrics at RottenTomatoes.com

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