Saturday, May 12, 2007

Music and Lyrics

The other day I got an email from an internet friend John asking me if I had seen the movie Music and Lyrics. I responded I hadn’t and after him telling me some about the movie, I thought, what the heck! I think I’ll give it a try and go check it out. I had normally had a few chats with John on several message boards, but I have to tell you, after seeing this movie, I personally hope he contacts me in the future with more recommendations because with this one, he threw me a winner and an evening I really enjoyed.

Music and Lyrics is intended to be a little off beaten romantic comedy featuring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. I have to admit, while I have been a fan of Drew Barrymore, I haven’t been that impressed with Hugh Grant in the past. I knew I would have to overcome some obstacles in this movie but I have to say, right from the start, the very opening scenes. I knew I was going to be okay with this little film.

The premise of Music and Lyrics is that former pop sensation of the group Pop, a fictional but well written 80’s band has broken up. We see the current life of Alex Fletcher, (Hugh Grant) living a life of shopping malls, motels, and various other minor venues playing his old songs and entertaining the older female fans of his past. His manager, Chris Riley, played wonderfully by Brad Garrett of Everybody Loves Raymond fame discovers a contest where current pop artist Cora Corman played by Haley Bennett is looking for a new song. Corman is more along the lines of a Britney Spears than she is the style of Alex Fletcher, but Alex knows that getting one of his songs into her repertoire can go a long ways towards reestablishing his own career. While working in his lush New York Apartment alongside his manager Riley in comes a new maid of types whose responsibility it is to care for the plants in the apartment. This young lady, Sophie Fisher, played wonderfully by Drew Barrymore soon shows an ability to throw verses together as she works in the background while listening to the efforts of Alex Fletcher. What transpires is a romantic relationship where we not only see the importance of not giving up and sticking to your guns, but also one that gives us some insight to the music business and all along the way a film that has fun with itself and thus allows the audience to have a fun time.

I have to admit, going into this film, I wasn’t expecting much, I really wasn’t. Maybe that lack of expectation is what it was that allowed me to have a good time, and enjoy this movie. I was surprised at a lot of things regarding this movie and pleasantly surprised at that.

As many know I often try to find spiritual insight into movies when I review them, part of that is my responsibility and desire from writing for Hollywood Jesus and The Virtual Pew. I also know that one can search so deeply they forget about what the most important theme in a movie, book, or song may be. I am glad that at least in this case I didn’t do that. In fact, while there are themes of the movie that are of great value. The greatest value of the movie wasn’t lost on me. That value was the value of entertainment and enjoyment.

Don’t get me wrong, the value of the themes such as don’t give up, stick to your convictions, learning to be a team as opposed to an individual, all of those things have value, and thankfully all are laced throughout this film. We even see the character of Cora Corman caught up in Eastern Religion, specifically Hindu concepts. Yet despite her overt desire to be involved in the spiritual search she is on, she obviously has not found the answers for herself, and isn’t in any position to give answers to anyone else. It is in fact the love between two characters that would normally never come together that allows her to eventually see the need to respect the integrity of the effort placed before her in the song that is written by Fletcher and Fisher.

Yes all of those things are important, but the most important component to the film for me, and one that is also spiritual, is that I as a viewer was able to have a good time, escape from the difficulties around me, and have a few laughs and leave the theater feeling good. There are times each of us need a measure of escape, for me at least, this movie did that, at a time I needed it. While this isn’t a great movie, it is a fun movie and one that accomplishes its purpose. If needing a good laugh, a touch of romanticism and a toe tapping good time, I would recommend that you check out Music and Lyrics.

On a scale of 1 – 10 minus the three letters of the band Pop, I’ll give it a heartwarming and enjoyable 7.

Video Pop Goes My Heart

Video Trailer of the Movie

Fan Video of Way Back Into Love

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