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In the 80s, Alex Fletcher (Hugh Grant) was a pop star, but these days, he earns his living performing at high school reunions and amusement parks. When his manager Chris Riley (Brad Garrett) alerts him to a comeback opportunity, writing a song for reigning pop diva Cora Corman (Haley Bennett), he is racked with insecurity. He hasn't written a song for 10 years, and urgently needs a lyricist. Then he learns that Sophie Fisher (Drew Barrymore), who waters his plants, has a flair for writing lyrics. She is recovering from a broken relationship with novelist Sloan Cates (Campbell Scott), and at first is reluctant to collaborate. But the chemistry between Alex and Sophie ignites - both at and under the piano.

Review by Louise Keller:
It's not the wedding singer that Drew Barrymore falls for in Music and Lyrics, but Hugh Grant's 80s has-been pop-star, who is happily stuck in the past. The winning combination of Grant with his easy, self deprecating charm and Barrymore's vulnerable heart-on-sleeve klutz makes for easy-viewing. If it were music, it would be called easy-listening. It's the kind of film to see when you feel like a chuckle but don't want to concentrate too hard. It's predictable and formulaic, yet the film manages to propagate its charms through a maze of crazy situations and unpredictable characters. Writer director Marc Lawrence (Two Weeks Notice) keeps the tone light and there is never any doubt that harmony will prevail.

With the Hugh Grant brand firmly stamped all over his Alex Fletcher, Grant is funny, witty and charming as he embodies the has-been singer who sings corny songs while gyrating his hips to his adoring mature female audience. Boytown this is not and Grant never takes himself too seriously. His singing is musical and pleasant and his duet with Barrymore, delightful. Their chemistry works nicely and an interesting dynamic develops with Haley Bennett's new age diva Cora Corman ('buddhism in a thong'), who wiggles her tush and tosses her long blonde tresses as she coos and croons in a studio filled with wheatgrass. Kristen Johnson is a real scene stealer as Sophie's older sister Rhonda, who runs a weight reduction company called Weight-Not. Johnson is big and bold with a larger-than-life personality (think Kirstie Alley) and her exuberance is contagious.

The romance between Alex and Sophie develops as expected, as does their song writing. (He thinks he writes songs that represent dessert, but aspires to come up with something resembling dinner). The crescendo to the finish line begins on stage at Madison Square Garden, when a hooded Cora wearing long black boots and little else, makes her entrance out of a giant Buddha as part of her Karmic World Tour. Love, music and lyrics are happily all in tune in this romantic comedy with the melodic heart.

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(US, 2007)

CAST: Hugh Grant, Drew Barrymore, Scott Porter, Nicholas Bacon, Andrew Wyatt, Dan McMillan, Tom Foligno

PRODUCER: Marc Lawrence

DIRECTOR: Marc Lawrence

SCRIPT: Marc Lawrence

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Xavier Pérez Grobet

EDITOR: Susan E. Morse

MUSIC: Adam Schlesinger


RUNNING TIME: 95 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: February 14, 2007

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