"Music and Lyrics" more than a chick flick

MOVIEREVIEW "Music and Lyrics" 3 stars It takes a special sort of movie magic to create a romantic comedy that is entirely formulaic even though it manages to transcend the pitfalls of its genre. "Music and Lyrics" does just that. Written and directed by Marc Lawrence, whose previous highlights include the "Miss Congeniality" movies and "Two Weeks Notice," "Music and Lyrics" seemed destined to be an overwrought Valentine's Day chick-flick. But clever pop-culture parody and savvy casting makes the film genuinely watchable. Hugh Grant sticks to his trademark role as a grown man who never quite matured, but cast as the '80s pop has-been Alex Fletcher, Grant's trademark works. Drew Barrymore as the quirky-but-cute Sophie Fisher also sticks to a comfortable role but seems perfectly cast. When Alex is asked by pop-superstar Cora Corman (played to superficial and ditzy perfection by newcomer Haley Bennett) to write a song for her, Fletcher enters a frantic search for a lyricist. When Sophie, who is employed watering plants, happens to drop a chance remark, Fletcher is convinced of her natural inclination for lyricism and the partnership is born. Following the standard formula, Alex and Sophie naturally fall in love, get mad at each other and then get back together. But what sets "Music and Lyrics" apart is its ability to follow the standard progression while still being a biting satire of the pop music industry from Alex's clinging to former glory and desperation for revivalist fame to Cora's hyper-sexualized teen-pop mannerisms. The parody is there, and it's what makes "Music and Lyrics" a delightful little pop movie. Contact the Diversions Editor at dive@unc.edu.

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