Saturday, February 17, 2007

Music and Lyrics Review

Director Marc Lawrence's Music and Lyrics is one of those modern pop sensations that has their moment in the spotlight only to fade away into history, never to be heard from again.

Now, before I begin this review, let me tell you that I'm a fairly big Hugh Grant fan. I'm not sure if it's his constant use of irony or his British descent, or a mixture of both, but there's something about the veteran actor that amuses me no matter what picture he's in. This applies in Music and Lyrics as Mr. Grant plays yet another ironic and amusing character, unfortunately he isn't enough to keep this movie entertaining.

Grant plays Alex Fletcher, a has-been pop artist from the late 80s who has since been forgotten. He meets a girl who fails at watering plants, Drew Barrymore, and his luck improves, they fall in love, they have a falling out, there's a montage about how lonely they are without each other, and then they get back together and seal it with a kiss. Sound familiar? Sounds like I just vomited in my mouth a little bit.

I don't hate romantic movies, or comedies, I just hate the romantic comedy genre. Instead of focusing on creating great films they all aim for mediocrity. They fill themselves with cliche archetype characters, the same plot structure, a completely far-fetched quirk to get the story moving, and the same ending, EVERY TIME. Some film buffs defend the genre saying they are good for a laugh or a brainless night at the movies but I disagree; I think the reason that romantic comedies are so popular is because they are easy. Easy to spot and easy to attend as the audience knows exactly what's in store for them when the lights dim and the projector starts rolling. I just wish films in the genre threw a few more curve balls to spice things up.

Music and Lyrics isn't all bad though. For starters, it features a ton of original music that's sung during the film, progressing the plot and breaking up otherwise monotonous scenes similar to a musical. Also, both Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant sang their own vocals, which adds to the authenticity of the picture. There are also quite a few dance numbers that, while not grand in scale, are least semi-amusing.

Unfortunately the film's flaws outweigh the strong positives. For starters, almost all of the comedy in the movie falls flat on its face. I heard very few laughs from the packed theatre I was in and you could tell that the audience was yearning for a hint of comedy that never fully developed. The movie also establishes conflict only to abandon it, making the story feel incomplete even after the final kiss.

If you're a huge fan of romantic comedies you may enjoy Music and Lyrics but otherwise, even if you're a fan of Hugh Grant as I am, you'll most likely be disappointed.

Have you seen Music and Lyrics? What did you think of it? Post a comment.


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Farley said...

I have to agree with you on this flick. I got dragged to it by a "friend" who said it would be funny. Truth is I found it to be about as funny as a benign growth. It wont kill you to watch, but you wont be any better off for it

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