Movie Review: Music and Lyrics

Music and Lyrics is a romantic comedy that follows the formula: boy meets girl; no interest; unexpectedly the girl can help the boy in a crisis; boy and girl work together and fall in love; they part; they reunite in the fadeout.

The boy and girl in Music and Lyrics are Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. Grant is Alex Fletcher, the second banana in the hottest rock group of the 1980s. But now, in the 2000s, he's pretty much a has-been, as a performer and as a composer. He appears at state fairs and promotional events where he dazzles hordes of fans ­ fans who are as old as he is.

The new wave of music is embodied in a young woman, Cora Corman (Haley Bennett). She performs pop songs with very erotic dances and in costumes that are little more than thongs. Cora needs a new song for a concert she's doing in a few days and Alex gets the call to give it a try. He doesn't write lyrics. Enter Sophie Fisher (Drew Barrymore). She is filling in for the woman who comes to Alex's apartment to water the plants. Sophie overhears the problem about the lyrics and absentmindedly spouts some really good stuff to go with the music. Alex is impressed and convinces her to work with him to write the complete song for Cora. She reluctantly agrees.

In Music and Lyrics, Hugh Grant plays Alex in his usual "lost, befuddled little boy" style. It still works pretty well, even though that "little boy" countenance is showing its age. Alex is a very witty guy and tosses out quips and one-liners that are often hilarious. (Maybe the character, Alex, should have considered a new career as a comedy writer or a stand-up comic.) But the new wrinkle here is that Hugh Grant, in addition to his hip-tossing gyrations on stage, also sings. And he's quite good.

Drew Barrymore also plays in her familiar style as Sophie. She does some slapstick and some scenes where she has to speak her mind but is so panic-stricken that she can't get any words out. And Drew, as always, is cute as a button.

Music and Lyrics is a very good film that uses its stars to do what they do best ­ entertain us.

Music and Lyrics is at the Harkins Sedona 6 Theater.

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