Bright Lights Film Journal

Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore in Music and Lyrics: The King of the Backseat Blowjob Gets Mildly Post-Ironist on Your Ass

You can do anything if you try. You must always be yourself, and never compromise. And it’s OK to start out in sweats and jeans as long as you end up in Dolce & Gabbana.

OK, except for that last one, the preceding paragraph was a total crock. Most of the things we would like to do we can’t do, no matter how hard we try. And if you don’t compromise, you don’t live. But D&G; do beat s&j; every single time.

That’s why it’s best to approach the moral and message of Hollywood’s latest attempt to strike romantic comedy gold, writer/director/producer Marc Lawrence’s Music and Lyrics, in a spirit of selective acquiescence. The film, drawing heavily on When Harry Met Sally and Lost in Translation, with hints of The Cactus Flower, There’s A Girl in My Soup, Sex and the City, The Bandwagon, and Sullivan’s Travels, not to mention A Hard Day’s Night and even Bringing Up Baby, is not a classic, and it gets shamelessly soggy towards the end, but it’s still the best romantic comedy I’ve seen since Monica Lewinsky was a virgin.

Hugh G. does a very nice job updating Cary G. in this flick, working the “I’d like to get out of these wet clothes and into a dry martini” thing to a T. And I never thought I’d say this, at least, I can’t remember ever thinking that I’d say this, but Drew Barrymore is awfully cute as Sophie, though the script lets her down. Sophie is too predictably ditzy in the beginning, and then when we get to know the “real” Sophie, she’s not entirely in focus.* Haley Bennett, as pop mega-star Cora Coram, doesn’t quite project the supreme entitlement and menace that one associates, however unfairly, with bubblegum divas, but she does flash a well-chiseled fanny at her big show, so who’s complaining?**

* Particularly irritating is the shot of Drew, late in the pic, in a Brandeis sweatshirt. You went to Brandeis? That is so … understated!
** It ought to be well-chiseled! The suits made her lose 10 pounds at age 16 to get the part! Dead models, so what? What’s it going to be, kid, Hollywood or high school?