Saturday, February 17, 2007

Weekend Movie Review: Music and Lyrics

Music and Lyrics


2 1/2 stars (out of 5)

Cast: Hugh Grant, Drew Barrymore, Haley Bennett, Brad Garrett

Background: I met my husband in college. Though he’s now a high school and community college math teacher, he graduated with a degree in Music Composition. I, of course, was an English major. When I saw Music and Lyrics advertised, I knew this was our movie! I wanted to see it so badly that I couldn’t wait until the weekend when my husband was available (he was teaching a college class the night it came out) and so took another of my valentines (my 14-year-old son) to see it with me on February 14.

In the movie, has-been pop star Alex (Hugh), is given the opportunity to write a song in something like a week for the latest teen sensation. Alex is desperate for the chance, but he’s the music guy, and he’s never written lyrics before. Enter (literally) the woman who is his substitute plant-waterer. As he tries working with a lyricist, plant girl Sophie (Drew) mumbles a few lines that Alex judges to be golden. After predictable (but hardly credible) protestations, Sophie agrees to work with Alex.

This movie is about…

The characters learn from the story that…

Well, the title of their song is “Way Back Into Love” and Sophie had a somewhat recent heartbreak so maybe it’s about that, about Sophie finding a way back into love and Alex finding a way back into the music business. Maybe. There’s a bit there about being true to your artistic intentions, but I couldn’t quite buy Sophie telling Alex that his songs (remember, pop music) are “dinner,” and not “dessert”—meaning they aren't just fluff. But I was asking myself, “What’s wrong with dessert? I love dessert!"

I was asking myself a lot of things during the movie. How come Drew Barrymore is like the cutest actress on the planet even though she’s in her early thirties? How come Hugh Grant has that weird short hair? Would I like the movie better if it was his usual wonderful flop of glossy brown? Worse, my meandering thoughts turned to what they could have done to make the story better. What if they’d been partners once in the past and had romantically burned each other? What if then this great opportunity came their way and they were forced to collaborate again? What if they then had to work through their earlier problems and really found their “Way Back Into Love”?

What if this movie, then, actually had a conflict?

Drew Barrymore, as noted above, is incredibly likeable on screen. The role called for her to be too ditzy in a couple of places, but she did it with so much charm I didn’t care. As for Hugh, well, he was his usual humble and dry-humored self. Together, though, I didn’t feel any chemistry between them, which was a disappointment.

And t
hat sums up my review of the movie. A disappointment.

However, the 14-year-old and I walked back to the car humming Alex and Sophie’s song. I can’t recall a note of it now, but like the entire film, it was pleasant enough while it lasted.

Let’s hear what you think!


Susan Kay Law said...

Well I'm sorry that it's not better. It looked cute.

I went to a movie today, too - Ghostrider. Kid choice. Interestingly, despite all the special effects, the biggest gasp from the audience was when he took his shirt off. Can you CGI abs like that? I would think Cage was too old to be that ripped.

It was an okay movie. Kept the child occupied on a chilly afternoon, at least.


Cindy Gerard said...

Hey Christi
I've been wanting to see this movie and you pretty much told me that it would be exactly what I thought it would be. Cute but ...
I'll probably wait for it to show up on STARZ.

Debra Dixon said...

Christy-- I'm so bummed. I want this movie to be great! Hubby and I are going tonight. (He's been out of town.) But at least now I can rachet down my expectations.

And I love your idea of have "Way Back Into Love" actually have meant something. Gee, this whole writer gig has certainly made me less tolerant of movies too.

Christie Ridgway said...

Nicholas Cage has abs?! Hey, Susie, I was told that a good tan-sprayer person can give anyone a six-pack. So maybe...

I know, sorry guys, about the disappointment. I =so= wanted it to be awesome. Deb, you're going to have to tell us what you think after seeing it. Meant to say, that the girl who plays "Cora," the teen singing sensation, did a great job. The 14-year-old (boy) was quite impressed.

Helen Brenna said...

Darn it, Christie, like Deb, I so wanted this movie to be great. I think my favorite type of movie is romantic comedy.

I love Drew Barrymore, not too crazy about Hugh, although he was wonderful in About a Boy.

Is there a movie in the theaters right now that's worth going to? I could really use a movie out.

Kimberly Van Meter said...

I saw it with the hubby and, like everyone else, I was so excited to go see it. Unfortunately, it was a tad disappointing. It had many cute moments but overall, it just didn't cut it. Hugh Grant had the funniest lines I think. Drew Barrymore is, as usual, quite adorable.
Too bad it didn't quite hit the mark. Whatever happened to the romantic comedy??

Helen Brenna said...

Hey, Kim! Fun to see you here!