Music and Lyrics, 2007, starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore
As the post title implies, I expected to hate this film. And yet, for some reason, I stayed up on a school night to watch the entire thing on HBO7. I’ll often be sucked into watching films I’ve already seen, and loved, like Boogie Nights or Eternal Sunshine. But every now and again I’ll see a 90 minute movie starting at 11:15 and give it a chance.
Music and Lyrics is a mostly formulaic 96 minute boy girl meet cute, have brief falling out at second act break, and everything somehow comes together in time for the big climax. I was mildly surprised by one minor plot point, but only because I had thought ahead and planned out each detail of the third act. Hey, it’s a formula movie.
I’m generally not a Drew Barrymore fan and I mostly enjoy Hugh Grant’s affable personality and self-effacing Britishness. So why did I like this movie? I don’t know…it was better than the sum of its parts, better than it had a right to be. There are many reasons to (rightly) dismiss this as standard rom-com claptrap. It’s not going to make any “best-of” lists and will quickly fall into trivia question fodder. And Barrymore’s b-plot about a former professor is unnecessary.
But, as a whole, somehow it works. It’s fun. It’s easy. The lead performances are above-average for the genre. So, if you see it on Cinemax at 11:30, turn off the Red Shoe Diaries or whatever softcore porn you’re watching and give it a chance. You might be surprised.