Monday, May 26, 2008

Battle of the Netflix Stars #3

Bout #3: Battle of the Musical Rom-Coms

Movie:Music and Lyrics


Director:Marc LawrenceKevin Lima
Star Power:Hugh Grant and Drew BarrymorePatrick Dempsey, Amy Adams, James Marsden and Susan Sarandon
Plot:Alex Fletcher is a former '80s pop star looking to resuscitate his career. When presented with the opportunity to pen and perform a duet with a Britney Spears-ish diva, Alex realizes that he needs a songwriting partner. After discovering that Sophie (the girl who waters his plants) has a way with words, he convinces her to form a partnership. They discover that they make beautiful music together, but is their budding romance doomed to be just a flash in the pan?Fairy princess Giselle is banished to the "real world" of NYC by an evil Queen. There, she meets cynical lawyer Robert and his daughter, who take her in. Giselle's betrothed, Prince Edward, goes to New York to find her and Giselle must decide who her Prince Charming really is.
Pros:Hugh Grant is so freaking charming that it's not even fair. He's one of those actors who I never think of as one of my "favorites" but every time I see him in a movie, I find him so utterly adorable. His delivery of the witty, sharp dialogue is priceless and although Drew Barrymore basically plays her usual Little Miss Happy character, somehow her "sunshine" is less grating here as in other movies. All of the music biz spoofing is spot-on, especially the inoffensive cheese of Alex's former band, PoP!, and Haley Bennett's portrayal of teen sensation Cora Corman. Alex playing amusement parks and being offered has-been boxing reality shows all feels a little too real!Even though this is essentially a family movie, I watched it with my roommate and we both enjoyed it. Maybe it's because we both think Patrick Dempsey and James Marsden are hot? That's part of it. A bigger part is that it's just a sweet movie that isn't afraid to be completely corny. And even though it's basically a movie we've all seen before, the acting is very good throughout. Amy Adams is especially perfect in her role, who is basically Ariel the mermaid in the flesh.
Cons:The obligatory fight/misunderstanding between the couple seems a bit forced.There's a little sugar overload. Also, Susan Sarandon, who I usually love, goes a little too over-the-top.
My Thoughts:Very engaging. I defy any straight woman or gay man not to fall in love with Hugh Grant after watching this. The songs, while all knock-offs of real music of the '80s and today, are written well enough so that they become less like jokes and more like songs that you might actually hear on the radio.Honestly, I'd rather watch an animated classic like Beauty and the Beast, but this is a cute diversion for a lazy Sunday afternoon. If you can't find the charm in it, your inner child may be dead.
Final Grade:B+C+

One last thing. Music and Lyrics would've gotten a straight B, but the mere presence of this song/video made me add the +. PoP! is like a perfect blend of Wham!, ABC and Spandau Ballet.


doorknob_dan said...

Haven't you got anything better to do than mock Mormons? You need to get a job and stop picking on Drew Barrymore's religion!


fran said...

I really liked "Music And Lyrics" because (even as a straight man) Hugh Grant is one of my favorite actors, and the whole PoP! thing was tremendous (not least because Chris Collingwood wrote the songs.) I really WANTED to like "Enchanted" beacause the premise was so genius. But although Amy Adams was great, it just wasn't that good. Plus, anything with Patrick Dempsey has to work twice as hard.

fran said...

Aaah! I meant Adam Schlesinger wrote the songs for "Music And Lyrics". I get the two geniuses in Fountains Of Wayne confused all the time.

CDP said...

I haven't seen either, but now I might need to add them both to my Netflix list. Excellent reviews!

Beth said...

I agree with both reviews. I thought Amy Adams did a lot to keep Enchanted from being a piece of crap. She was believable as an animated-now-human character, without being too over-the-top. And wasn't Sarandon too much!

According to Hugh on Inside the Actor's Studio, his favorite type of woman is a silly Southern girl. I have a shot!

Sauntering Soul said...

I haven't seen either of these but have wanted to see Music & Lyrics since it came out. Enchanted? I think I can pass.

And if Hugh really is into silly Southern girls like Beth says, I'm probably just his type. Well, I imagine I'd have to shed quite a bit of weight first.

Slave to the dogs said...

I've always adored Hugh Grant. Even with the hooker blowjob. Most excellent review!

Chris said...

Mormon mocker.

Hey, I've been reading your blog surreptitiously for a while now, and I'm starting to suspect you kinda like the visual arts. There's a subtle thread running through your posts that would lead one to believe you watch TV and movies and stuff.

Falwless said...

Hmm. Interesting. Hugh Grant is my #1 sexiest actor pick. I have seen all of his movies. And this Music & Lyrics has to be, by far, the worst. Really, you liked it? Really? Really? I thought it was awful. I am drawing up our dissolution of blogfriendship papers.

Falwless said...

I love your new blog picture.

Chancelucky said...

I liked the scene with the rats doing the housecleaning in Enchanted, but not much else.
Music and Lyrics, I watched on the treadmill in a hotel gym in Atlanta last year. It was the perfect movie for that. I don't remember any of it except for the performance in the amusement park and the Britney Spears-like character.

So, can you compare Knocked-Up to 27 Dresses now?

Chancelucky said...

Besides, Drew was already in the same movie with Adam Sandler doing 70's songs, The Wedding Singer.

Jessica said...

I LOVE Hugh Grant! :)

fran said...

Falwless...really. You liked "Two Weeks Notice" better than "Music And Lyrics"? You liked "Mickey Blue Eyes" better? You liked "Nine Months" better? Draw up some of them there papers for us, too :)

Anonymous said...

I hope you got a chance to catch your man on Larry King live last night.

bloody awful poetry said...

It is impossible not to adore Hugh Grant, even when he's essentially playing the same character in every movie he's ever been in.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

As Bloody Awful Poetry says, Hugh Grant pretty much plays Hugh Grant in every film. But damn he's a charmer! SO it works for him.

pistols at dawn said...

"Music and Lyrics" was the perfect kind of movie to see on the airplane: it didn't make me want to die, and at the end, I thought, "Hey, that certainly wasted an hour and thirty-seven minutes in a not altogether unpleasant fashion."

Moxie said...

I liked Enchanted much better than Music and Lyrics. I couldn't stop giggling from the way they kept making fun of the Disney fairy tales - kind of like Shrek in that regard. M & L was cute but the whole subplot about Drew's relationship with the professor was absolutely stupid and was so obviously some studio afterthought. "So we gotta make her have a challenge...hmm, ask the stoners in the mailroom what they think we should do..."

Alice said...

omg, i forgot how incredible that video is. HAAAA. brilliant.

M&L was a little too contrived for me, and while enchanted definitely was too, it KNEW it and kind of made fun of itself for that, which i have an easier time swallowing. plus i think i'm in love with amy adams.

LoraLoo said...

"Music and Lyrics" was one I wanted to see from the moment I saw a preview, and I seriously loved it. Drew Barrymore is one of my favorites, and the whole music business spoof stuff was genius!

"Enchanted" was a pleasant surprise, and Patrick Dempsey? Yummy!


Who Does This Broad Think She Is?

My photo
I am a winsome muse who was sent to Earth to inspire an artist to turn a vacant building into the world's coolest disco roller rink. We fell in love along the way, and I foolishly gave up my immortality. When the disco craze ended and all the roller rinks were shut down, that lazy bum wouldn't get a job. We broke up and I was stuck on Earth with nothing to do and no one to inspire. So, now I write a blog.

What Do Others Think of BeckEye?

"You're like an idiot savant of terrible garbage entertainment." - Falwless

"You're my hero." - Candy

"Get yourself a life. Better yet.....eff off." - Ann Onymous

"There's no one like you." - Klaus Meine