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Marc Lawrence
Hugh Grant, Drew Barrymore, Brad Garrett, Kristen Johnston, Campbell Scott, Scott Porter, Haley Bennett
Writing Credits:
Marc Lawrence

A washed up singer is given a couple days to compose a chart-topping hit for an aspiring teen sensation. Though he's never written a decent lyric in his life, he sparks with an offbeat younger woman with a flair for words.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$15.875 million on 2955 screens.
Domestic Gross
$49.731 million.

Rated PG-13

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 104 min.
Price: $14.98
Release Date: 6/12/2007

• Eight Deleted Scenes
• Gag Reel
• “Note for Note: The Making of Music and Lyrics” Featurette
• Music Video


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Music and Lyrics [Blu-Ray] (2007)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 6, 2015)

That rarest of beast, 2007’s Music and Lyrics offers a “chick flick” that also appeals to the men in the audience. The film introduces us to fictitious 1980s chart-toppers “PoP!”, a group led by Colin Thompson (Scott Porter) and Alex Fletcher (Hugh Grant). When they disbanded, Colin went onto enormous solo success, while Alex wound up as just another has-been.

Alex continues to perform – albeit in front of increasingly tiny audience – and he hopes to get a break that will take him back into the charts. An opening presents itself when he gets the assignment to write a new song for pop phenomenon Cora Corman (Haley Bennett). The problem: Alex maintains a gift for melodies but not words.

After a disastrous attempt to pair Alex with a professional lyricist (Jason Antoon), he discovers his muse: substitute plant waterer Sophie Fisher (Drew Barrymore). She shows the ability to effortlessly toss off good lines, and Alex persuades her to become his partner. The movie follows all the pressures connected to their writing assignment – and other developments of a more romantic nature.

If you ask for one reason Music succeeds, I’ll give you two: Grant and Barrymore. Both are at their most charming and endearing here.

Though Grant gets most of the funny lines, I think Barrymore probably gives the stronger performance. It’s her presence that allows Grant to be so loose and likable. She’s developing into the chick flick MVP, the woman you want to bring out the best in the male lead. How else can we explain how well her first two pairings with Adam Sandler went? (2014’s Blended showed the limits to Drew’s magic.)

Not that Grant is a slouch himself. He effortlessly conveys the spirit of a star on the decline, and he impresses with his own singing. When I originally watched the flick, I assumed someone else did the vocals, but it turns out Hugh carried the tunes himself. That’s a nice little bonus in addition to his amusing performance.

As one who spent much of the 80s in my teens, I certainly can easily remember the era, and that fact makes Music all the more enjoyable. The filmmakers get the little nuances right and pay a loving – not condescending – tribute to the period. Sure, the flick pokes fun at the goofier side of things, but it doesn’t do so in a mean-spirited way. It doesn’t hurt that “Pop Goes My Heart” really is a good tune; it truly could have been a hit.

If forced to do so, I can certainly find a few flaws in Music. The third act tends to drag, the characters veer toward the stereotypically wacky, and some of the plot twists feel wrong and contrived.

None of these faults matter a whole lot, though. Music presents too much of a fun, warm and endearing experience for my to rain on its parade.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture C+/ Audio B-/ Bonus C-

Music and Lyrics appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This wasn’t a bad presentation, but it lacked consistency.

Sharpness tended to be up and down. While most of the movie showed fairly good delineation, more than a few shots veered to the soft side. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, but some edge haloes could be seen. As for source flaws, I noticed no specks, marks or other concerns.

Also inconsistent, colors jumped around a bit. With a fairly warm palette, the hues could appear reasonably lively, but they also could turn somewhat dense at times. Similar issues made blacks a little flat, but shadows showed reasonable clarity. This was never an ugly image, but it needed a greater sense of accuracy and consistency.

I didn’t expect much from the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Music and Lyrics, and the result seemed pretty typical for this genre. Audio quality was fine. Music showed good range and definition. Both score and songs displayed nice breadth, as they fleshed out the material well.

Speech consistently came across as concise and crisp, while effects were clean and clear. The latter didn’t play a big role in the flick, so they failed to demand much. Nonetheless, they seemed fine.

As for the soundfield, it was decidedly low-key. The music showed decent stereo imaging, and effects provided a minor sense of ambience. Nothing in the movie stood out as memorable in terms of soundscape, though, and this was a pretty passive track. Though I didn’t find an impressive mix here, it seemed acceptable given the movie’s scope.

How did the Blu-ray compare to the original DVD? Audio remained the same, as both discs featured identical Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes; the absence of a lossless option on the Blu-ray became a disappointment.

Despite some lackluster elements, the Blu-ray’s visuals still offered a step up over the DVD. The Blu-ray showed better accuracy and more inviting colors. While the Blu-ray had its issues, it was still superior to the DVD.

The Blu-ray reproduces the DVD’s extras, and we find eight Deleted Scenes that run a total of 11 minutes, seven seconds. These include “Meeting Cora”, “Alex and Khan”, “Phone Messages”, “Too Many Words”, “Vinny Sings”, “Carousel”, “On Mars” and “Colin Calls”.

Though I often don’t think much of most cut sequences, these are almost all good. Four of them give Khan the desk clerk more to do, and they offer nice laughs. “Cora” is a little redundant but still amusing, and “Carousel” and “Mars” offer some comedic views of Chris’s relationship with his daughter. “Calls” is a very funny misdirect as well. I don’t know if these all would have fit into the final flick, but they’re very entertaining nonetheless.

Called Note for Note: The Making of Music and Lyrics, a featurette lasts 13 minutes, two seconds. “Note” mixes movie clips, shots from the set, and interviews. We hear from writer/director Marc Lawrence, co-producer Scott Elias, costume designer Susan Lyall, choreographer Dan Karaty, vocal coach/arranger Michael Rafter, composer Adam Schlesinger and actors Hugh Grant, Drew Barrymore, Brad Garrett, Haley Bennett and Kristin Johnston. The program looks at story and characters, the cast and performances, Lawrence’s impact on the production, recreating the Eighties elements, Grant’s musical and dancing training and other aspects of the tunes.

Relentlessly promotional, “Note” exists to sell the movie. It does almost nothing else, as it just lets us know what a great flick it’ll be and sends us through tons of film clips. That makes it a waste of time for fans who’ve already seen Music, as they’ll learn next to nothing about the movie’s creation.

Into addition to a standard four-minute, 12-second Gag Reel, we find a music video for “Pop Goes My Heart”. This is exactly the same clip that runs along with the opening credits. It differs only in that it lacks the text overlays. It’s nice to see it in all its unfettered glory.

Lightweight but inviting, Music and Lyrics overcomes many genre drawbacks to become a fun experience. The movie boasts fine performances from its lead actors along with a lively, jaunty tone that make it a consistent pleasure. The Blu-ray brings us average picture and audio along with some minor bonus materials. Nothing about this release impresses, but the film amuses and charms

To rate this film visit the original review review of MUSIC AND LYRICS

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