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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Movie Review/rant: Music & Lyrics



I really enjoyed this movie, in fact it's one of the best movies I've seen in the last year or so. The "POP goes my Heart" video was awesome and the premise was fresh and different, the romance and the comedy was really well done. Grant and Barrymore had great chemistry and it was very enjoyable. I watched it four times in a week and it's the next DVD I will buy. I even thought Cora was well done. Yes, she was skanky and ill dressed, but her character was essential to canvasing the motivations of both main characters because it was based on her, that their differences were brought to light. I'd have liked her to be a bit more clothed, yet being as this is a Hollywood film, there was far more they could have done with her and upped the Skank factor. However, despite how much I liked it, I have some complaints.

First off, Barrymores character is introduced to us as a quirky, unusual girl. She leaves their first meeting abruptly because she pricks her finger on a cactus and needs first aid. She's weird, and it's very cute. A couple scenes later, her sister comments on her weirdness. And then it's over. Barrymore is no longer quirky. Her characterization was built up, and she was still very likable, but the quirkiness disappeared and that bugs me. Why put it in there if you're not going to extend it? It was wasted effort, and manipulative hooking for the reader. They got us to say "Wow, she's weird, wonder what else she'll do?" but none of THAT trait came to fruition (though several other ones did). In my ever so humble (and correct) opinion, they should have left out the quirky stuff or drawn it through the whole movie. It would have been a very simple fix.

My second rant is:
Why oh why did they have sex? Under a piano no less! Yes, I'm glad they didn't show the actual scene, and I for one think there are certain stories that have to have uncelestial sex in them (see To Have or To Hold and Unsung Lullaby), but this story did not need it. What the story needed was simply a bonding for them, something that would make their relationship move up a level, something that pulled them together and would make it harder for them when their paths diverted. BUT it didn't have to be sex. It could have been a very passionate kiss, or a line such as "I don't know what to do with the way I am feeling." It could even have ended with Grant pulling away and saying that he didn't want her to be lumped into the same catigory as all the other women he'd slept with over the years. All the angst would have stayed in place if they had both come to realize that the other person had feelings for them. This kind of stuff is so frustrating to me. It's Hollywood, and they put the sex in because someone at their meeting said "We have to have sex because that's the only thing the American people understand as a bonding moment. " Au contraire! Return to Me is one of my favorite movies of all time, one of the best romances out there--no sex. It could have been there, but it wasn't necessary and the brilliant writers kept it out. Music & Lyrics could have done that too and it could have been a movie I could watch with my daughters without any disclaimers (okay, I'd still have to break out the modesty lecture, but at least Cora makes the immodesty look bad cause she's an idiot)

Anyway--them's my thoughts on this. Two things that could have been easily fixed. The good thing, is it reminds me to be consistent and not to use a backhoe when a shovel will do the trick. Anyone else have a thought on this movie or others? And did Grant really do his own singing? I don't know if I believe it.


Kimberly said...

You echoed my thoughts exactly! I'm also planning on buying that movie, if for no other reason than to watch the music video a few more dozen times. And Return to Me! Ah! Why don't I own that yet?!

Karen Hoover said...

Loved both movies, though agree wholeheartedly on your comments. I actually wondered if Grant did his own singing as well, so I did a little research, and come to find out he did! He said they did a lot of digital fixing to make him sound good, but I don't know if that's just him being modest or is indeed truth. There's your answer, anyway. I have to admit, I loved the music so much, I bought the soundtrack.

Jenna said...

Well, I stumbled upon your blog through my friend Luisa's over at Novembrance, and right after reading your review I had my husband go (almost immediately) out to rent Music and Lyrics. I had wanted to see it anyway. We watched it together and LOVED it. I think your comments were really on-target---I wish they had avoided the sex too, because my 13 year old daughter would love this movie. I want the soundtrack now! Thanks for the inspiration!

Stephanie said...

I can't wait to see this movie. Thanks for the review. It is always good to hear someone's opinion before seeing a show. And I LOVED Return to Me.

Anne Bradshaw said...

Yes, a thought provoking movie, and I also agree with you on both counts, Josi.

I've been a Barrymore fan ever since she did that Cinderella movie, Ever After. That was such a fun film. Made me laugh. I also liked her in that one where she loses short term memory--50 First Dates.

She's done well to overcome those tragic teenage years. And she's one of the few who can do a great British accent.:-)

Tristi Pinkston said...

Loved this movie -- loved this movie -- loved this movie -- can you tell I loved this movie? I do agree with your plot points, except I do think they could have used Cora as the catalyst without showing her being *so* sexual. They could have worked around that, too, but I was uncomfortable with a lot of the stuff she was doing.

That said, I loved this movie -- and Return to Me is one of the best movies ever created. Ever.

Yes, I'm hyper. :)

ali said...

I totally agree on the quirkiness factor!! I was surprised when she turned out to be a little weird, but then was looking forward to where it would take me, what more I would learn about her. And then, when they dropped it, I was disappointed. It was like they flattened her, made her less appealing, less three dimensional.

Good insights Josi! Guess you had a lot of time to think through your thoughts during the third or fourth viewing, eh? LOL!

Julie Wright said...

See, Josi, this is exactly why you need a Clearplay filter. I never knew they had sex (though I have to admit that under the piano sounds kinda fun) I loved the movie and really loved the music. I love Hugh Grant too . . . sigh! I think your complaints are totally spot on though. I loved that she left to get herself first aid. It would have been fun to see that play through.

Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen said...

I haven't seen it, but I am glad for your review. I've wondered about seeing it, and now I know better what to expect or fast forward through. I also thoroughly agree with your rant about the "under the piano" scene. It's not only in movies, but also in books, and I hate that. It makes me fear the library. What evils could be lurking inside? Just kidding! But it DOES make me more committed to doing a better, modest job with my own stories. Can't we use our growing skills to "twitter-pate" the world without making them blush?