Thursday, May 10, 2007

Music and Lyrics

2007, US, directed by Marc Lawrence

Rating: **.5

One of Hugh Grant's most appealing characteristics as a performer is his willingness to appear foolish on camera, something that is crucial to this light-hearted tale of a washed-up 1980s pop-singer - Alex Fletcher, an obvious Andrew Ridgeley knock-off - who we first meet picking through proposals for the kind of Z-list infested reality trash that clogs up the airwaves these days. Instead of debasing himself entirely, Fletcher prefers to gyrate to small crowds of fans reliving their glory days, circa 1984, though gyrating isn't quite as much fun with the onset of middle age (Grant himself is now 47, and there are moments when his boyish façade is replaced by something a little more rumpled, which gives the film a useful injection of reality). Grant has a decent foil here in Drew Barrymore, although he does a lot more with the fairly ordinary script, injecting an element of sarcasm into almost every line that keeps things watchable, and at times almost makes you believe that the filmmakers' satire of the music industry has some teeth.

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States