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“Music & Lyrics” Review = Another Ho-Hum Romantic Film February 8, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Movie Reviews, Movies, Music & Lyrics, Photos.
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So I went to watch the movie today. And when the movie started, the first thing they show is a music video from the supposed pop group that Hugh Grant‘s character, Alex Fletcher, belonged to before they broke up in the movie.

Music & Lyrics Poster

Yeeelchhh. Imagine the Drowmage cringing and trying very hard not to smack her head many many times during the rendition of the oh-so-Duran Duran/NKOTB songs. Here’s a trailer for the movie, so you know what I’m talking about.

Music & Lyrics Trailer

Ok, so back to the review…

The movie is about a washed-up ’80s has-been singer, Alex Fletcher (Hugh Grant) who is struggling as a performer now. He sings at the fair and at whatever weird shows his manager can book him for, and his fans are women who seem to be stuck in the past and in their mid-40s. His chance to get himself out of this rathole of being a one-hit wonder comes in the form of Cora (Haley Bennett), who is “bigger than Britney and Christina put together”, when he is asked to come up with a song for her to perform with him in a duet. The problem? He’s crap at lyrics, and has less than a week to come up with the song, and with the best lyrics or else he’ll get shelved into the dark hole of has-been singers. When he overhears his plant lady (who the hell has a plant lady anyway?), Sophie Fisher (Drew Barrymore), who is a great lyricist and he convinces her to write the lyrics, while he writes the song, for Cora. And what follows is the usual cliche fare of all romantic comedies with a happy ending. Yay.

The last time I heard songs from the ’80s, was when I was in sixth grade and listening to “New Kids On the Block” and “Tommy Page” (I know! I know! Stop cringing!) In any case, when I heard the first few lines from Hugh Grant singing “Pop Goes My Heart”, I had enough goosebumps to last me a lifetime. The song and the music was sooo fracking cheesy – as it was meant to be according to the prod notes I read, but still…. I think they’ve hit an all new low with this. Hugh Grant looks so old in the movie, and so damn haggard (40s is the new look, perhaps?). I read that he had to undergo professional training to sing and dance in this movie. If that’s the best he could come up with, well, in the words of Simon Cowell, “You can’t sing; you can’t dance; so what do you want me to say?”

Drew Barrymore is more toned-down here, compared to her last few comedies. I don’t know, her jokes and her acting seemed almost too… autonomous (is that even a word?) and just boring. I saw her on Saturday Night Live acting as Olive from “Little Miss Sunshine” on a parody called “The Dakota Fanning Show” with Amy Poehler, now THAT was funny. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Check it out here.

Brad Garrett is just too funny as Fletcher’s manager, Chris. Do you love “Everybody Loves Raymond“? I do. Again, Brad displays that funny, sarcastic, dead-panned humour we’re used to seeing in “Raymond” and “Gleason“. Also, I definitely give props to Kristen Johnston in her role as Sophie’s sister, Rhonda. Yes, she’s re-enacting her usual style we know and love from “Third Rock From the Sun”, but that’s why she’s such a funny female comedian! (Want to see more of the hilarious Kristen? Try getting ahold of Episode 18, Season 6 of “Sex and the City”, titled “Splat!”)

The movie is ok. It’s not the funniest I’ve seen, and in terms of romantic comedies, movies like “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and “The Truth About Cats and Dogs” still sit on top of my fav list. The problem with “M&L” is that the story doesn’t hold you. It relies on cute song lyrics, the poke-fun at cheesy has-been musicians moments, and the dry wit of Hugh Grant’s English humour. And that’s about it. There’s no connection between Alex and Sophie the way the director wants you to believe – yes, there’s sort of a playful banter going on between them, and yes, there’s an underlying hint of flirtation going on between them. But there’s no CHEMISTRY. You don’t feel drawn in, and you know it’s so damn cliche when you actually sit and wait for the two characters to kiss and sleep together, because that ultimate ‘romantic climax’ happens in every fracking romantic comedy known to mankind.

The music is.. ho-hum. Believe it or not, the theme song (no, not that atrocious “Pop” song) Way Back Into Love was written by the same guy who wrote That Thing You Do from the movie of the same name, Adam Schlesinger. I don’t think he’ll be getting any nominations for his mediocre composition here.

Apart from it’s mediocre performance, and so-so music and ho-hum storyline, I have a MAJOR gripe. Cora, the singer, appears in the finale at her show, stepping out of a large Buddha statue, dressed like a skank (very Britney), and gyrating with the back-up male dancers wearing monk robes. All this in front of the statue. If that’s not a complete insult to Buddhism, I don’t know what else is, but it was done with a very bad taste. The movie tries to redeem itself for its ignorance by having Hugh Grant/Alex Fletcher mention that Cora/Haley Bennett thought that the Dalai Lama was a real llama, so hence the ignorance at the usage of a religious statue in a concert.

I wish I could get that damn song out of my head. I’ll leave you with the music… and the lyrics…

I said I wasn’t gonna lose my head
But then PoP! goes my heart
I wasn’t gonna fall in love again
But then PoP! Goes my heart
And I just can’t let you go
I can’t lose this feeling
…..

Drew and Hugh

Drowmage rants : I want to put more pictures, but am too lazy to google them. Updates soon to come.

The Drowmage Rates this at : 3 Stars

Update : Here are the pictures – if you want to use them, email me and ask for permission, then I will check with the powers-that-be. I don’t operate this blog for profit, so I get nothing out of posting these pics and reviews here.

Alex Fletcher (Hugh Grant) looks a bit old and dry eh?

A scene with Sophie Fisher (Drew Barrymore)

Cora Corman (Haley Bennett)

Rhonda Fisher (Kristen Johnston)

Pop Goes the Weasel… I mean, My Heart….

Update 1st March: I don’t know why I even bothered, but seeing the amount of hits on this site from people just looking for the music video for “Pop! Goes My Heart”, well, here’s what I found on YouTube…

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Comments»

1. maddie - September 12, 2007

well, i happen to like the movie. haley who plays cora is fresh new talent we havnt seen before and i love her songs!

2. andy - October 20, 2007

i love this movie its so romantic…. go c go c lol

3. bastA - December 6, 2007

i like the movie actually… the 80’s song is just part of the story… deal with it…

4. Harry - December 18, 2007

In my opinion, this movie is actually pretty good …
I love Hugh Grant .. and the story was actually quiet funny …

5. David - December 21, 2007

Dude,
You really shouldn’t review movies. There are so many things wrong with your review. For one, it’s like you don’t even know that the music from the 80’s was all corny. And New Kids on the Block is considered 90’s. As for your HUGE gripe about the “insult to Buddhism” you have to be kidding. This is not grounds to base a movie’s rating from, I’m a Catholic and loved Dogma. I have nothing against Kevin Smith for bashing my religion. Also, you complained that Hugh Grant looked old. That’s again not basis for a movie’s actual rating. I think you need to get your priorities straight. You were right about the lack of chemistry but definitely wrong about the quality of the music and its writer. Adam is fantastic and that’s part of the reason this movie and That Thing You Do worked so well. Unless you’re a die hard Buddhist who never heard any music from the 80’s and who doesn’t understand that not EVERYONE can sing like Josh Groban (who’s probably your favorite) with extensive training then you are very far off on this review. It’s important to pick out the right things to critique about a movie and accept the general things about it. I’m not here to say this was an awesome movie, it was just a little above average really, but pick out the right things. The music WAS great, the individual actors did a good job, and of course Brad Garrett was excellent. Please reconsider how you review movies because if someone who didn’t know anything about them read this review they might be turned off from a good movie for the wrong reasons.

6. Mike Shump - December 31, 2007

Pop goes my heart is probably one of the greatest 80’s songs I’ve heard in a long time. But a way back into love was just mind blowing great lyrics and a very catchy beat. But both Pop goes my heart and a way back into love are amazing and I just can’t get it out of my mind. Cora was sweet too she sounds like a good singer with some killer dance moves and she’s smoking hot wat a combo. I did think don’t write me off just yet sucked it was cheesey and definity wasn’t “dinner”. But other than that the movie was great, plus it did have some good acting in it!

7. andre as - January 31, 2008

i like haley bennett when she was becoming cora corman. She is attractive, sexy n talented indeed to be next idol :p

8. Joe - February 16, 2008

I saw this in a film study class in school and I loved it. I recommend it to anyone who lieks romantic comedies.

9. cheryl - February 25, 2008

i know u wrote this topic a long time ago, but i’ve accidentally read this, so i want to write some comments. i’m an Asian, but not a Buddhist, but u know that a mass of Asians are somewhat under Buddhism’s influence. i think it’s not good to let Cora do those things but this’s a gentle romantic comedy, so we can overlook. and about Hugh Grant, i think his character Alex Fletcher requests him to be old like that. So do Drew’s character – she naturally is a bit ridiculous, a bit odd, so i think Drew did well. all the songs in this film are gentle too. i think it’s just good, not a blockbuster – style, but just good when you want something gentle to appease. thanks for sharing what u think.

10. cheryl - February 25, 2008

oh, so u’re from Malaysia? i learnt English from a Malaysian teacher. wish someday i’ll come to visit ur country. best regards.

11. Hugh not Grant - March 6, 2008

New kids??? I’m sorry bro, that ain’t eighties…late eighties maybe–I actually like “Pop goes my heart” and the video! Its so cheesy that its funny and catchy. I also like the Wham-esque song at the reunion! The movie is cheesy but if you didn’t know that before you watched it, then its your fault. Cora is very very…hmmmm…hot

12. anna angelica - March 25, 2008

POP GOES MY HEART IS A BEAUTIFUL SONG, AND THE MTV IS COOL! IT’S CUTE AND SIMPLE. I LIKE IT. EVERYTIME I SEE IT, I SMILE AND FEEL LIGHT AND HAPPY. = )

IT’S A VERY CATCHY SONG.

P.S. GUYS DO YOU KNOW THAT POP GOES MY HEART IS ORIGINALLY SUNG BY WHAM?

anna angelica, 23, f, manila, Philippines

13. anna angelica - March 25, 2008

i wish there is a real cora corman. she’s a lot hotter than paris! = )

14. Mike - May 27, 2008

Freeze sung the original version of pop goes my heart…and I think it was really called pop goes my love. Not heart.

15. bi - October 24, 2008

I very love haley bennett when she was becoming cora in Music and Lyrics, she very cute…very nice….very good…I like her

16. jenna - February 24, 2009

I like Haley Bennett. She is hott , very sexy. So she is good singer very well. I wish she is real cora corman. I like her song.

17. Yuliansyah Putra - September 21, 2009

I very love sophie fisher when she was song “way back into love” with alex fletcher, she very cute…very nice….very good…I like her

18. eric - November 2, 2009

nobody agrees w/ this review . .

the movie is fun …

..and if ya can’t get the songs out of your head, as reviewer, ya need to recognize g-r-e-a-t-n-e-s-s when it jumps in your ears and hibernates in your brain . .

tell us when you do something worth remembering!

19. Arya - January 4, 2010

hmmmm,,, i might have seen this movie 2 years ago,,, i fell in love with it. well here it dosent matter wat matters is,, how u explained it. the way u narrated the movie is awesone.. good work.

20. Jules - February 7, 2010

Just watched this film and definitely not in my top ten of films but I still really enjoyed it. Hugh Grant was, shall I say amusing as the male lead and Drew Barrymore, who I adore, was her usual ditsy, cutesy girl lead. Acting all through was no Shakespeare dahling!, but all the same I was able to watch all through to the end and thought it was a sweet film. Hugh Grants singing was pretty good actually and quite surprised me….definitely better than his dancing anyway!!! Drews singing, cute too. Yeah, Hayley Bennett was of course hot, Britney looks, Shakiras bum swinging but no sorry, NOT Xtinas voice AT ALL! That said, cute film, no more, no less. Watch it with a girly pal and enjoy!!


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