“Music and Lyrics”

After dinner, Kimi and I opted for a movie (and thanks again to Bob for baby-sitting). This was the first movie of the year for me. Since it was Valentine’s Day, I pushed for something light and romantic, and there was really only film fitting the bill: Music and Lyrics, starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore.

Hugh is perfectly cast as Alex Fletcher, an ’80s pop star who seems to relish the “has-been” label. (His character is modeled off of Andrew Ridgeley of WHAM!, the half of the duo who, unlike George Michael, did not remain famous). Drew plays Sophie Fisher, a klutzy aspiring writer who enters Alex’s life when she appears to water his plants.

I have to say I enjoyed the film overall despite some unconvincing plot twists to keep Alex and Hugh apart. It was refreshingly unconventional, and the backdrop of writing a hit pop song worked to distinguish this film from the countless other romantic comedies. Hugh can’t sing, and can barely dance, but his charm carries the day, and he remains the master of the throwaway line. The opening fake ’80s video (so good they had to show it twice) is spot on, and I liked the newcomer playing Cora, a teen sensation with a faux Buddhism fetish.

Deep? Nah. But a pleasant date movie with some laughs, and an incredibly catchy pop song at its heart. (Check out the movie’s MySpace page, switch off the video, scroll down halfway, and click on the first “Way Back Into Love” song in the embedded player to listen.) Pure treacle but with hooks that dig in for days; it was written by the bassist for Fountains of Wayne.

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