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Music and Lyrics May 11, 2007

Posted by Sai in English, Movies, Reviews.

This light romantic entertainer has got the wit and seasoned players in the genre, Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore, make it enjoyable.

Alex Fletcher (Hugh Grant) is a pop star who enjoyed great success in the eighties till his band broke up. He is living on his past glory and is seemingly satisfied with the fact that he is a has-been. He gets the chance to do a song with the hottest pop star Cora Corman (Haley Bennett) because she liked his songs as a teenager. He has to compose and write a song in a few days but he isn’t really good with lyrics. He decides to take the help of Sophie Fisher (Drew Barrymore), a woman who comes in as a substitute to water his plants, after realizing her talent for writing. Reluctant at first and low on confidence because of her past, Sophie finally agrees to come on board and a romance starts developing. Like any romantic comedy, there is a conflict here also. The rest of the movie is about the success of the romance and the success of the song that they create together.

The movie starts off with a video for “Pop! goes my heart”, which is supposed to be a music video of a hit song from Alex’s erstwhile band. The video and lyrics are hilarious and the song itself is catchy too. This sets the tone for the film and the lead actors take it from there. The good thing about this film by writer-director Marc Lawrence (who previously wrote and directed Two Weeks Notice and also wrote Miss Congeniality) is that it is woven around the premise (a good part of the film chronicles the effort to create the song) and characters instead of arbitrarily being filled with alternate servings of mush and laughs. That makes it work despite the familiar formula.

The film belongs to Grant and Barrymore who are top class. Haley Bennett is good as the pop star. Kirsten Johnston and Brad Garrett also chip in with their supporting roles. Special mention for composer Alex Schlesinger (who composed the superb title track of That Thing You Do!) who comes up with some winning tunes. I was also pleasantly surprised to know that Grant sang most of the songs with Bennett and Barrymore chipping in for their parts.

Despite being formulaic, this film succeeds because it gets a few things right. The characters are believable while the premise helps in weaving the laughs. The most appealing factor is, of course, the charm of the lead pair and their performances. Better than the average romcom!


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