MUSIC AND LYRICS (Marc Lawrence). 103 minutes. Opens Wednesday (February 14). Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
A recent scientific study determined that Drew Barrymore is the most adorable thing on the planet, narrowly beating out six-week-old yellow Lab puppies.
That being the case, her presence in Music And Lyrics frees Hugh Grant to indulge his fondness for playing indifferent men who were born into mid-life crisis. Though not quite as much fun as Grant playing heartless bastards, it's much more fun than Grant playing floppy-haired, bumbling charmers.
Here, he's Alex Fletcher, a star in the 80s as part of Pop! Since then he's been living off royalties and playing nostalgia gigs. It's a movie that asks, "What if Andrew Ridgeley hadn't sunk into total obscurity?"
Fletcher is contacted by pop princess Cora (Haley Bennett), described as "bigger than Britney and Christina combined" to write something for her new album, only he doesn't do lyrics. Enter Barrymore's Sophie, who's minding people's plants while suffering from writer's block.
He talks her into collaborating with him. They fight, they fidget, they fall in love.
Music And Lyrics is charming for about an hour, mostly thanks to the performers. There's also a squirm-inducing parody of 80s rock videos, and Grant does his own singing. The songs aren't really good enough, and the pileup of plot in the last half-hour isn't that entertaining.