ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday March 9, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 41

Music and Lyrics - Film Review

Starring: Hugh Grant, Drew Barrymore

Directed by: Marc Lawrence

Ok so most of you would have probably just flipped the page when you see what's been reviewed this week. But come on guys, you need to give Hugh Grant a chance! You don't watch movies with this combo in it unless you are looking for something to bring a smile to your face and unrealistic sarcasm to your mind! So hear me out. This movie isn't quite so bad and the fact that Hugh Grant looks utterly ridiculous in tight pants adds much to the humour.

Music and Lyrics kicks off with a 80's-style Wham-like video of a band called as 'PoP.' Firmly tongue in retro-cheek, Hugh Grant is Alex Fletcher, the washed-up has-been, now playing the nostalgia circuit for middle-aged housewives. He meets bubbly Sophie Fisher (Drew Barrymore) who waters the plants in his apartment but has a knack for writing lyrics. This saves his day when current pop-diva princess Cora asks him to write and record a duet with her. One spoiler here, her incessant use of religious symbols kind of spoilt the entire movie for me!

Now, I know that doesn't sound too interesting for all of you who are probably just recovering from the Oscars, but if you can stomach the idea of Hugh Grant singing his own songs and staging a come back, then rest assured, this is a very polished and unsubstantial romantic comedy. He and Drew Barrymore propel the movie with energy, wit and a warm, lovable enthusiasm. While perhaps doing little more than playing new aspects of themselves, it is a delightful performance and a heartfelt, realistic script.

Cora, for whom Grant has been commissioned to write a song for, is a sort of teenage megastar, somewhere between Shakira, Britney Spears and a youthful Madonna. Her elaborate stage-shows have a weird philosophy, which is better left to be seen. While the matches seem unbelievable at first, by the end of the film we want Hugh and Drew to continue their romance offstage, just as with classic romance films of the 30s, so by any mainstream yardstick, Music and Lyrics is a success.

The film is as unpretentious as its two lead actors, makes no great claims, and satisfies Valentine's Day release (last year people… last year!) requirements with a sincerity that takes it a notch above the average cheese. Casting is spot-on, even down to Sophie's older (and much larger) sister, who has similar characteristics and mannerisms.

  • Jumper
  • The Spiderwick Chronicles
  • Step up 2 to the Streets
  • Fools Gold
  • Definitely, Maybe

It's easy viewing, and even contains nothing unsuitable for older children. If you want more sophisticated and substantial fare, you probably don't need film reviews to find your way to the nearest art-house cinema or Oscar blockbuster.

But for straight enjoyment, Music and Lyrics just might do the trick!

He said/She said: The best time I've had in the last fifteen years was sitting at that piano with you.
Watch it if you liked: Fifty First Dates
Movie Hall of Fame: No


It was after a combination of anticipation and hesitation that I saw Hitman, the movie. The movie follows the exploits of video game legend Agent 47, from the Hitman collection of games. Agent 47 is a highly trained killer for hire. As in the game, Agent 47 has been trained from birth to become a hit man, working for the "Organization". As in the game, his contact is Diana, a voice on the end of the line that we never get to meet.

The film begins with Agent 47 (played by Timothy Oliphant) seated in the study of an Interpol agent, Mike Whittier (played by Dougray Scott), before it flashes back up to scenes that had taken place three months prior. Agent 47 is assigned a new mission, to publicly assassinate Russian President Mikhail Belicoff. Agent 47 successfully completes his mission using a sniper rifle and making the shot from a near impossible distance.

Upon returning to his hotel, he is contacted again by Diana, and is told there was a witness. Just like in the game, Agent 47 does not like to leave witnesses. So off he trots to knock off the witness. Things get weird when he realises that the woman in question, Nika (played by Olga Kurylenko), has never set eyes on him before.

We then learn that the assassination has been covered up, and that Belicoff may or may not have a double. Agent 47 finds himself being setup, with the Russians as well as Interpol hot on his tail. To make matters worse, the Organization also send out some of their employees to take out Agent 47 for his apparent failure. Agent 47 hits the road with Nika, and before long there are shades of a watered down version of the Bourne Identity.

Mailed in by: Josh Jo Sh

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