Five Minute Film Review

We rented Music & Lyrics last night. If ever a film cried out "Rental!" truly this is it. It's just this side of completely stupid to warrant the $3.79 it cost us.

It's exactly what you'd expect and not a smidgen more. Hugh Grant is in full-on smarm/charm mode, Drew Barrymore's milking the "Aren't I oh-so cute and quirky?" cow until its dry, dying and finally dead and Brad Garrett gets more screen time than Campbell Scott. Yeah, I'm still trying to figure that last one out. All in all, it's servicable, but not going to cure cancer or anything.

Grant's a bit of a guilty pleasure, as I'd rank About A Boy as one of my favorite-er films, but I thought he was far more interesting (and reprehensible, which he does very well) in the underrated farce American Dreamz. (That film's worth it alone for Willem Dafoe as Dick Cheney. But that's another post entirely. Seriously, I think it's pretty hilarious, and, given our Commander-In-Chief's recent appearance on American Idol, oddly prescient.) Barrymore's goofy and inoffensive, but, as is the case in a lot of these chick-flicks, the chemistry between the two leads is just plain nonexistent. It just sort of appears sometime in the middle of the second act because it has to. Because this is a lowest-common-denominator chick flick. It's a rule of the genre. If it were trying to be an honest, realistic film, Grant's character would be far too shallow for any kind of a serious relationship, especially since Barrymore's character is portrayed as obviously mentally unstable. Seriously, she's a cartoon character. But again, it's part of the genre. In rom-coms as in action movies, "real," people don't exist, just broad archetypes. So, I guess it's alright, just not as interesting as it could be.

...And here's where I armchair filmake. If it were my film, they'd never hook up physically. It'd be a platonic love story, where their intimacy comes from the creation of songs. That's more realistic and more interesting, two things this film steers very clear of. And, rightly so, I guess.

There's a couple other hiccups, namely a Christina Aguilera-type pop star who (for some unfathomable reason) feels the desire to ally herself with a washed up 80's sensation. For her character to work, she has to be a lot more ridiculous, bordering on farcical, character. Instead she's portrayed as a beatific angel who just happens to grind with dancers dressed as Buddhist monks onstage. If you're going broad and archetypal, she'd work better as a lot more eccentric than just being generically spiritual.

Also, did I mention that Brad Garrett gets more screen time than Campbell Scott? Because he does.

Anyway, so that's Music & Lyrics. If your ladyfriend want to see it, well, at least it's not the Wedding Date. Geez, that movie's atrocious.


Patti said...

I love Campbell Scott.

Chanel said...

whoa that is a long review, longer than I would ever consider even watching that movie, so sorry I didn't read it, this is just my lame attempt to get a phone call out of your wife.
Claire is changing unbefore my eyes.