Based around the rather flimsy premise that a musician falls into a state of creative desperation that a thesaurus couldn’t fix whenever he has to come up with a new single, “Music and Lyrics” stars Hugh Grant as a has-been writer and Drew Barrymore as an aspiring writer who through happenstance circumstances, team up to write a song that could put them on the map.
Hugh Grant plays his witty self in Alex Fletcher, with the exception that his character is actually surprisingly convincing as a pop star. He delivers those one-liners that can single-handedly deliver a movie like “Two Weeks Notice,” with a little less frequency than what might have let this movie get by on humor alone. Drew Barrymore, as slogan-writer Sophie Fisher enters Alex’s life as her plant lady (is there a such thing as a plant lady?). When he discovers her talents for rhyming, she recruits her to help write lyrics for a teen pop star who gives him a chance at a comeback. The pop star is played by Haley Bennett who as a parody of the empty spiritualism of Hollywood is one of the best parts of the movie. The film isn’t funny enough to recommend as a pure comedy and while Grant mixes it up a little, Barrymore doesn’t do anything she hasn’t done before here. Still the script manages to stay intelligent and natural enough that it keeps the film afloat. Even before Alex and Sophie get romantically involved, their characters are interesting enough for us to want to know more about them and their interactions are too. The movie does drag a little in the middle however.