Kicking and screaming. That’s right; when my wife drug me out to see Music and Lyrics on Friday evening. Truthfully, other that those awful Bridget Jones roles, I like Hugh Grant. Yea, he’s stuck in a genre, alright, but at least he pulls off the formula quite well and always manages a few lines that just crack me up. I really have no idea if others find them as funny as I do.
So, he’s this washed up 80’s pop star (boy band) working the typical gigs for someone who didn’t figure out how to parlay his money into something else before it was gone. Then comes the big break, and he has an opportunity to write the musical score for the then current pop super-star. And, so, in the unlikely scenario, he’s working in his apartment with this "existentialist" lyricist when the "plant lady" (Dew Barrymore) starts humming out lyrics. Quite uncharacteristically for a film of this sort (ha-ha), before you know it, Hugh and Drew have teamed up and are writing the hoped-for new-big-hit together.
But all this is laced through the story of Hugh’s real life as a washed up 80’s pop star, and so you get some funny lines. This one; a narrative interlude to a song performed at some sort of 80s high-school reunion, with portly 40-year-old women packed against the stage, screaming.
"Tell me the truth, ladies. Are my pants too tight?"
[More screaming] Funny.
Of course, Drew is not without her history either. There’s a new best seller by a literary professor that tells the story of a sort of dysfunctional love affair. Yep, you guessed it. Drew is the fictional character. And so, in the most unlikely of possible scenarios, Hugh and Drew are in a restaurant celebrating their collaborative success, when she spots Mr. Professor at the bar with some friends.
Distraught, she heads off to the powder room, and in a never-before-seen act on film, Hugh follows her in. Of course, she’s had a whole speech prepared for over a year, for just this sort of inevitable confrontation. Hugh encourages her to go confront the man and give her speech. But she’s getting cold feet, whch is when we get one of the other lines that just cracked me up.
"Look; you have to do this. Everyone waits their whole life to run into an ex-lover when things are going really good."
Ha! Anyway, to give you an idea of the sort of parody this films aims to achieve (and succeeds, I think), I give you the opening to the film, PoP! Goes My Heart, which is a flashback to an 80s number one hit. Look for Hugh in makeup and hairdo, and see if this doesn’t just make you laugh your ass off.