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Sunday, March 04, 2007
  Movie Review: Music & Lyrics

The first thing I want to say is: the funniest part of Music & Lyrics is the video for the fictitious '80s band, PoP! You can watch this video on YouTube, and decide for yourself whether you want to see a movie that is less funny than this video.

That's not to say that the movie is not funny. It's a perfectly serviceable romantic comedy, starring two not brilliant but adequate and quite likeable actors, Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant. Hugh plays a washed up pop star, whose name I forget, who seems happy to make money by playing high school reunions and state fairs. Drew's character, Sophie, has a number of jobs, it seems, one of which is filling in for a friend who waters plants for a living -- including those in Hugh's apartment -- and another of which is working for her sisters' weight loss clinic chain.

Watching Hugh sing silly '80s songs and jiggle his hips is funny but also extremely wince-inducing, and the movie has so many of these scenes that I started to (a) tire of them, and (b) lose respect for Hugh -- mostly his character but also his real self.

Sophie is a typical movie eccentric: talking contantly, wearing kind of weird clothes (in this case, seemingly inspired by Project Runway's Ulli), suddenly hiding while walking down the street, freaking out and being unwilling to explain it, and so forth. It turns out she has a reason for doing some of these things, but others are just her charm I suppose.

Kristen Johnson almost steals the show as Sophie's older sister, who is a big fan of PoP! and flips out when she learns that Sophie knows one of the former members (that would be Hugh, in case I forgot to mention that ... speaking of which, I think his character's name might be David or something like that; I suppose I could just look it up in someone else's review, but where's the fun in that?). Her scenes are the ones that come closest to the video in terms of laughs.

The rest of the movie is kind of funny, but also a little bit of a downer. Maybe this is because both of the main characters are kind of sad people -- Hugh because of his washed-up status, Sophie because of her mysterious past (which gets revealed, but I won't spoil it for ya). Also, there's just not much spark between them. I read another review of Music & Lyrics that said Drew and Hugh had no chemistry, and I think the reviewer has a point. It's like they're better as friends. Maybe they figured that out later, after the movie ended.

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