Starring: Hugh Grant, Drew Barrymore
Director: Marc Lawrence
Screenplay: Marc Lawrence
Music by: Adam Schlesinger
A few days ago my mother and I made a shocking discovery. I had never seen Pretty Woman. As someone who almost exclusively watched romantic comedies in her teen years (Disney hadn’t made their post-renaissance princess film comeback), that blew our minds. But when Pretty Woman was at its height of popularity, I wasn’t allowed to watch R-rated movies yet.
This realization trailed off into a conversation I’ve been having or have heard frequently lately. Where has romantic comedy gone? I feel like in the 90s and earlier in the millennium we had at least four solid romcoms a year. At least. Sure, we have romance movies out there, but you know if you see the newest Nicholas Sparks films, someone is going to die (and main characters aren’t necessarily safe), and any other romantic film has equal chance of tragedy of sorts. I’ve heard a quite few theories, from writers were running out of ideas to the writing has become too male. I’m personally of the same opinion as author Rebekah Weatherspoon (although I love Captain America and beardless Chris Evans). Whatever the reason, though, I hope it’s just a phase and that they’ll make a comeback.
So to celebrate my love for the pretty much deceased romcom genre, I’m doing a Flashback Friday segment in which I re-watch and review some of my favorites from the 90s to 00s. Today’s post is about Music and Lyrics.
(For those who are curious, I did, in fact, watch Pretty Woman shortly after mine and my mother’s conversation, but I loved it so much I didn’t think I could give a non-biased review)
Music and Lyrics is about Alex Fletcher (Hugh Grant), a has been from the fictional British band PoP! Luckily for Alex, Cora Corman, young, eccentric, Britney Spears/Christina Aguilera hybrid, absolutely adores him from PoP! and wants to do a collaboration with him. She gives him one week to come up with a song that has to be titled “Way Back into Love.” As Alex is not a very good songwriter, he hires someone to work with him, but it turns out his quirky, cute plant waterer Sophie Fisher has a knack for rhyme and words (and an English degree). They spend the next 48 hours together in his condo, and romantic comedy adorableness ensues. The two confront an ex-lover, past insecurities, and their moral obligations to their craft.
I heart Hugh Grant in pretty much every romantic comedy. Like probably everyone ever, he stole my heart in Bridget Jones Diary, and he wasn’t even the romantic lead. I love that when he is, he’s a goofy, nerdy stiff shirt. A refreshing change from the typical brooders or bland heroes. Drew Barrymore is also darling. Her heroines are always a fantastic blend of vulnerable and unapologetically themselves. The secondary characters in this film were also on point. Brad Garrett was an excellent, ever exasperated manager for Alex, Kristen Johnston, who is glorious in literally everything, is the perfect fangirl mom and loving big sister, and Haley Bennett had me both uncomfortable and in stitches
This movie is adorable and predictable and gives the viewer exactly what he or she expects coming into it, which is what I want from a romcom. One of the biggest issues with this film is the script when the conflict arises. The dialogue becomes extremely unnatural and somewhat out of character, and even the filming is awkward. Other than that, I still enjoy the film and have watched it multiple times.
This isn’t a film you watch if you want twists and turns in the plot. But if you want a cute romantic movie with lots of laughs and top notch actors, give Music and Lyrics a watch.