Music and Lyrics Marc Lawrence

Music and LyricsMarc Lawrence
When making a movie about a washed up ’80s pop star taking another stab at the charts, Music and Lyrics demonstrates the wisdom in making one that affectionately wears its cheese on its sleeve. From the opening scenes of Hugh Grant’s smirking Alex Fletcher flounceing around in a hit video from his heyday as one half of fictional pop icons Pop, the filmmakers’ love of the subject matter is made apparent. The obviously Duran Duran-inspired video sets the tone of the film, an affable tribute/cutesy goof hybrid of ’80s culture that celebrates as much as it pokes fun at its subject. While the plot develops like a rom-com How-To guide, and the juxtaposition of Alex’s aged Pop-schlock with today’s vapid tween pop stars is clumsy, the scenes between Grant and collaborator/love interest Drew Barrymore as they work on their potential hit are charming and surprisingly honest in their depiction of two minds experimenting with a rushed and somewhat forced musical collaboration. Coasting on charm however, doesn’t pile on the laughs. Everyone involved in the film seems to be playing in safe mode, making Music and Lyrics an inoffensive exercise in mediocrity. Any urges teased by this film would be better satisfied by repeat samplings of The Wedding Singer’s more potent ’80s fromage homage. In terms of extras, the deleted scenes seem fully realised but are substandard, hence the chop factor, and the "making of” feature is the usual cutting of movie clips with self congratulatory cast interviews spilling obvious titbits about the film’s story and production. A welcome surprise comes from the gag reel, which is actually pretty hilarious; the cast’s crass improvisations result in heavy bleeping and induce more laughs in a second than the movie does in its duration. Also included is the full-length cheese display that is Pop’s "Pop Goes My Heart” video. (Warner)