If I want to list some great English actors of our current time, Mr. Hugh Grant may not appear on the list, but in terms of romantic comedy, I must say he’s done a great job. For every film he does, he gives what this genre needs and even something more. Blending in a unique sense of humor into his characters (I have no idea if this kind of humor is typically English), Hugh makes his characters likable, but this also causes a problem as the characters are, in a way, not much different from one another. Fortunately, the problem can be less a hassle when he works with different co-stars or if the script is good. Movie is a teamwork, and that’s good news for him.
Music and Lyrics is one of my all time favorites. Alex Fletcher, a singer with a glorious past, is now making living by performing in high school reunions, recreational farms, or amusement parks. Even though he still enjoys the screams and applause from his middle-aged fans, the cancellation of upcoming performances forces him to face his career crisis. The song request from Cora Corman seems to be his last chance, but Alex still needs a lyricist to complete the song “Way Back into Love." As the professional lyricist Greg Antonsky may be too cranky for Alex to work with, the plant girl Sophie Fisher is somehow capable of throwing out catchy phrases to go with Alex’s melody. The movie is about how they write the song and how they leave their past behind and start anew.
Because the movie is about songwriting and music industry, music is a big part of it. The lyrics of the songs in the movie and also the talks about the lyrics are no less impressive. There is a scene in which Sophie talks about the difference between melody and lyrics and how they come together to make a song work:
“A melody is like seeing someone for the first time. The physical attraction. Sex. But then, as you get to know the person, that’s the lyrics. That’s the story. Who they are underneath. It’s the combination of the two that makes it magic."
Although a movie is a make-believe, I agree with Sophie that the magic of a song comes from both music and lyrics. As for the story of Music and Lyrics, the combination of music and lyrics also goes parallel to the combination of a has-been singer/songwriter and a frustrated writer/lyricisit. The chemistry between them grows as the song is developed. “Way Back into Love" is not just based on the theme they plan to write; it is actually an echo of their real life situation. Their relationship–the magic of love–creates a new page of their life. After all, this is a romantic comedy, a fictional world where love can bring in new possibilities.
As someone who buys almost everything I see on the screen, I can never get tired of watching this part of the movie and the song too (I know technology must have been a great help for Hugh and Drew. Nice work, Computer.) I can’t think of any other English actor who can say the below line with sarcasm and a slight offense just like he did.
“Just a little bit louder cuz this song is intended for humans."