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Music And Lyrics - Review

Music & Lyrics

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5


HUGH Grant’s easygoing charisma has paved the way for many rom-com hits over the years but his decision to play a has-been ’80s pop star sadly fails to hit the right notes.

Music & Lyrics is, like its subject matter suggests, as cheesy as they come; a lightweight confection that follows a tried and tested formula without ever really taking any risks.

Grant plays Alex Fletcher, a fading pop star who is offered an unlikely comeback when asked to pen a song for emerging pop diva Cora Corman (Haley Bennett) in only a matter of days.

Desperate to find a great lyricist, Alex happens upon kooky Sophie Fisher (Drew Barrymore), his plant waterer, who just happens to be a dab hand at rhyming.

As they reluctantly begin working together, an unlikely partnership blossoms that paves the way for success and love…

Things begin brightly with an amusing music video sequence that features Fletcher in his “pop” heyday, but it’s quickly downhill from there as writer-director Marc Lawrence (of Two Weeks Notice fame) remains content to aim only the odd jibe at the music scene rather than anything more biting.

Grant proves typically adept at delivering the quips and gamely pokes fun at himself during the extended song and dance routines but his relationship with Barrymore’s eccentric hypochondriac never convinces as it should, partly because she seems to be struggling with the lacklustre script. Far from being endearing, her neurotic tendencies are just plain annoying and she’d probably struggle to last five minutes in the real world.

Newcomer Haley Bennett, as the Britney Spears-style diva Corman, also misses the chance to have some serious fun with the pop princess stereotype and emerges as hopelessly bland instead. Far more worthwhile are supporting players such as Kristen Johnston, as Sophie’s older sister, who prove more fun to be around, only to be left by the wayside for large chunks of proceedings.

Hopeless romantics in search of some undemanding cheese for Valentine’s may derive some guilty pleasure from it but Music & Lyrics is ultimately as throwaway and forgettable as songs like Wham’s Last Christmas. And that really isn’t a good thing!

Read our interview with Hugh Grant

Read our interview with Drew Barrymore

Certificate: PG
Running time: 104mins