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Laramie Movie Scope:
Music and Lyrics

A rare romantic comedy that gets it right

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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February 25, 2007 -- Good romantic comedies are hard to find these days, so you cherish the films that do succeed in this tough-to-perfect genre. The latest on a short list of romantic comedies to make the grade is “Music and Lyrics,” starring a couple of actors with a lot of experience and success in this genre, Hugh Grant (“Love Actually”) and Drew Barrymore (“Fever Pitch”). While the romance in the film is a bit weak, the comedy is very strong. This is a film with plenty of witty, clever dialogue.

Grant plays a washed up pop star, Alex Fletcher, who had been in a boy band in the 1980s. Now he is reduced to playing county fairs, Holiday Inns and amusement parks. Barrymore plays Sophie Fisher, who works for her sister's (Kristen Johnston of “Strangers With Candy”) weight loss company writing jingles. Fletcher happens to meet Sophie when he is under pressure to write a hit song for pop superstar Cora Corman (played by newcomer Haley Bennett). It turns out that Sophie has a gift for writing lyrics. Fletcher and Fisher work non-stop to write a hit pop song and they begin to fall in love. Well, you know the drill, things don't work out that easily. There are problems and setbacks along the way.

Grant and Barrymore have chemistry (and good singing voices) and Haley Bennett is very convincing as the sexually overt, Spears-like teen idol. Johnston (formerly an outrageous comic powerhouse on the TV series “Third Rock From the Sun”) is very funny. Brad Garrett of “The Pacifier,” effectively plays Fletcher's loyal, long-suffering manager, Chris Riley. This is Garrett's best movie role yet after his long run on the hit TV show “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Unlike most comedies these days, the film does not rely on sight gags and pratfalls for its humor. Instead, the script, by Marc Lawrence (“Miss Congeniality”) is loaded with sharp, witty dialogue and good one-liners.

Hugh Grant is famous for his deft handling of one-liners and his performance in this film is no exception. In one scene, he says “The best time I've had in the last fifteen years was sitting at that piano with you.” Sophie replies “That's wonderfully sensitive... especially from a man who wears such tight pants.” He replies, “It forces all the blood to my heart.” This movie has more witty lines in any 10 minute clip than most comedies have in the entire film. It rates a B.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in video and/or DVD format, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics, theater tickets and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2007 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)