As the opening credits role on the new romantic comedy “Music and Lyrics,” movie-goers are entertained with “Pop Goes My Heart,” an eighties beat from the has-been group Pop. But as the movie featuring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore continues, the excitement fizzles.
A washed-up pop star from the past, Alex Fletcher’s (Grant) career has resulted in cancelled shows at Knott’s Berry Farms, and in a turn of luck is offered an opportunity to write a song for the latest pop tart, Cora Corman (Haley Bennett). Sophie (Barrymore) is his plant lady who ends up being a rookie lyricist and is the key to helping him compose the song “A Way Back into Love.”
In order for Sophie to help Alex, she must make a comeback of her own from a past love affair. Both Alex and Sophie are able to overcome their trials and write the hit song that saves the day.
Grant set the bar high with films like “Notting Hill,” “Bridget Jones’s Diary” and “Love Actually.” Unfortunately, this film does not deserve to be considered in that category. This may be the biggest mistake he’s made since losing Liz Hurley to a hooker. Barrymore’s performance was typical. It felt like watching her play the same character from 50 First Dates except this time there are no explanations for her quirkiness.
Grant’s wittiness is a little overdone as well. He wears a necklace in every scene that hangs from his old, saggy neck causing the viewer to wonder how much of his playing a has-been is acting. If his days as an actor are over he might be able to cross over to music. Both he and Barrymore sing all of their songs, and that’s the redeeming value of the film.
The song they write, “A Way Back into Love,” is a hit both on and off the screen. Unfortunately, with the exception of “Pop Goes My Heart,” it is the only good song on the soundtrack, and iTunes will only allow you to buy the whole album.
The movie is not worth seeing in the theater. Wait for Netflix, but even then keep it at the bottom of your que.