A song for the L-word

In the music business, there is undeniable shame and desperation for a one hit wonder. In the film “Music and Lyrics,” Hugh Grant leaves “Bridget Jones Diary” behind and becomes Alex Fetcher, a 80s pop singer from the group ironically named ‘Pop.’ The talented songwriter (depending on your definition of talent) finds himself without a hit song after his partner stole his award-winning lyric and gave him a fizzling career.

With an endless well of dry humor and acceptance, Alex plays at amusement parks and class reunions for a mostly unimpressed crowd.

Fletcher gets another chance to remove himself from 80s nostalgia when pop princess Cora, whose personality is frighteningly similar to that of Britany Spears’, asks Alex to write her next hit, “A Way Back Into Love” for her world tour.

With a lack of inspiration and general faith in himself he seeks a lyricist, stumbling upon Sophie Fisher (Drew Barrymore), who has an untainted knack for the corny, cliché hallmark verse. Overshadowed by a previous relationship with a national bestselling author that went sour, Fisher is a bit of an emotional mess, content to do odd-end jobs like water strangers plants and baby-sit for her sister.

After a bit of convincing and long hours of silence and blind stares, they find their natural flow in this story about discovering your own song and having the courage to sing it.
Seemingly old and goofy, Grant’s pants may have been too tight for his old-fashioned dance moves, and he wasn’t bringing sexy back by leaving the top of his shirt unbuttoned. Still, he brought an element of himself to the role, allowing for a quick flashback of the awkward but witty sense of humor the audience enjoys so much about his roles.

Alex was so cute that I would have fought Barrymore for him if I had the chance, but sadly, I think her unconventional damsel-in-distress nature would still win his heart. Annoyingly uncooperative at times, her character was unnecessarily dramatic and over the top, yet surprisingly strong and gifted.

Barrymore played a girl that everyone envies, but whose sensitivity makes her dreadfully impressionable. Despite her predictability as a character, her uniqueness is so prevailing that she leaves her own mark.

In a movie where the music plays a leading role, and love is caught between verses, there is nothing more grand than the encore of a happy ending.

Jena Williams can be reached at Williams.jena@gmail.com.

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