1 hour, 36 minutes
PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned.
for some sexual content.
Hugh Grant ... Alex Fletcher
Drew Barrymore ... Sophie Fisher
Brad Garrett ... Chris Riley
Kristen Johnston ... Rhonda Fisher
Campbell Scott ... Sloan Cates
Scott Porter ... Colin Thompson
Aasif Mandvi ... Khan
Alex Fletcher (Hugh Grant "About a Boy") is a has-been 1980s pop star who's been reduced to working at county fairs and amusement parks. Finally he's given a second chance at songwriting fame by America's latest teenage singing sensation Cora Corman (Haley Bennett). Alex is comfortable writing music, but he's never written lyrics. One day he notices something special about Sophie Fisher (Drew Barrymore "Charlie's Angels"), the girl who comes to water his plants, and together they start to work on the song. They only have a few days to write a hit and they are being pressured by Alex's manager Chris Riley (Brad Garrett - TV's "Everybody Loves Raymond"), hounded by Sophie's sister (Kristen Johnston - TV's "3rd Rock from the Sun"), and bothered by Sophie's cruel ex-boyfriend (Campbell Scott "Roger Dodger"), a two-faced author.
The film written and directed by Marc Lawrence ("Miss Congeniality") is basically an excuse for Hugh Grant to crack witty one-liners with his trademark impeccable timing and prance around like a rock star, while Drew Barrymore gets the much more thankless role as his ditsy but emotionally connected romantic interest. Both of them are charming and likeable, although they seem to lack the chemistry they've displayed with their former co-stars. In supporting roles, Brad Garrett is terrific, Haley Bennett is stunningly sexy in her feature debut and Kristen Johnston steals every scene she's in.
The film often seems contrived, but the early '80s pop music video scene is quite good, although some of its later jabs at the music industry are not quite as on point. Nevertheless, "Music and Lyrics" is still an ideal date movie and most audiences will be entertained by this often amusing and intelligent romantic comedy.