Review: Music and Lyrics

Warner Bros. Valentine's Day release, "Music and Lyrics" (IMDb listing) is a charming rom-com about a has-been '80s pop star and a plant lady? Yep, that's right -- Drew Barrymore is a plant lady turned lyricist in this cute little film. Film should do well with Valentine date-seeking audiences and Hugh Grant fans alike.

When Alex Fletcher (Hugh Grant) gets the opportunity to write a hit song for a Shakira-Spears-Aguilera teenage hit machine, he finds himself at a loss. After all, when he was part of the hit duo Pop! back in the '80s, he was the melody-maker, not the songwriter. After attempting to work an odd but supposedly well-known lyricist, Alex ends up collaborating with his substitute plant lady, Sophie Fisher (Drew Barrymore), after he hears her make up a few lyrics on the fly.

Sophie is trying to live down a novel written by her mentor/lover/engaged instructor, Sloan Cates (Campbell Scott), which is based on her. Does anyone in real life have a name like Sloan Cates? Alex is just trying to live down his '80s pop icon past (he's the Andrew Ridgeley of Wham! in this film).

Of course, as with any rom-com, the two fall in love, but must get past their respective issues before they can live happily ever after.

Movie takes us through the songwriting antics of the two and everything is made better and sweeter when said through Grant's British accent. Anyone who lived through the MTV Big Hair Band generation will get a few laughs at the Pop! video and songs.

Kristen Johnston steals her scenes as Sophie's 38-year-old married sister and a superhuge! fan of Pop! back in her teen scream days. Brad Garrett is forgettable as Alex's manager.

Overall, film is fun and amusing. Hugh Grant is his usual adorable self in the same like-every-other role he plays way. I loved him in "Love Actually," loved him in "Notting Hill," loved him in "Four Weddings and a Funeral" -- hell, I loved him in "Bridget Jones" and "About a Boy." Hopefully, now that he's "retired" from acting (he dropped his manager and his agent and is working on his first novel), he'll show up now and again in future rom-coms much to our delight.

Filmfodder Grade: B+