February 14, 2007

No Song In The Heart of Music & Lyrics


Blech, Valentine's Day. If Cinecultist has to watch one more idiotic Zales commercial, we may crawl under the duvet and not come out until March. It's not romance that CC objects to so much as the consumerist co-opting of it by the card manufacturers and the candy sellers. We're big on affection and love on all days except for Feb. 14, just like we're big on great romantic comedies. Sadly the new Drew Barrymore/Hugh Grant movie, Music & Lyrics which is out today isn't one of our new favorites. A sort of cute premise* and usually winning stars though don't add up to anything that's worth your $10.75, no matter how die-hard you might be about the genre.

Grant plays a watered down version of his character from About A Boy, a washed up musician instead of lay-about pop song heir, who doesn't feel all that motivated to make more of his singing career than some appearances at Knott's Berry Farm. Barrymore enters his life as the temporary plant waterer for his apartment and her ability to spout insightful yet catchy rhyming lyrics on a dime improbably pairs her up with Grant to write a new song. Barrymore is doing an odd Diane Keaton On Crack impression here, she's all skittish neurosis in skinny jeans. But these tics don't make the character more likable, she just seems like the kind of person you'd scooch away from on the subway.

In addition to the wearisome characters, every last joke lies lamely on screen like 3 day old fish. The plot twists which are supposed to show the couple bonding (she has an ex-lover played by Campbell Scott that she wants to tell off, he needs to learn to enjoy performing in front of aging boomer ladies) are equally as weak. In the end, CC found ourselves completely tuning out on the dialogue to focus instead on Drew's costume choices. Her very Lucky magazine look was hardly enough to distract us though. We'd rather be forced to watch a Home Fries and Two Weeks Notice double feature than revisit this painfully bad movie. Do yourself a favor and stay away. It's barely worth an accidental viewing on TNT in two year's time.

*The premise reminded CC a lot of this musical we loved as a kid, They're Playing Our Song about the real life singer/songwriter couple Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager. If only we'd kept that faded original cast album, it was really great.

Posted by karen at February 14, 2007 3:06 PM
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