Saturday, May 21, 2016

Music and Lyrics: A Romantic Comedy About Making Music Together

by Drew Martin
I like coincidences and "signs" so when I was looking for a third movie today at the local library (three films for a week for $1) and saw a DVD totally misplaced, in fact - tossed on top of another section, I was indeed curious by what this could mean. And then when I saw that it was entirely about my most recent post Kopy-Kat, I had to have it even though I was not crazy about who was in it: Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. Since 2016 is the year I started eating chocolate again, after a couple decades of abstaining, why not embrace one of my least favorite movie genres: Romantic Comedies. I reasoned that since my wife likes Hugh Grant it could offer a moment for us to sit down together and put the requests of three kids on hold for a couple hours.

It turns out I really liked Grant and Barrymore together, and thoroughly enjoyed the romantic comedy set-up and resolution formula. For a follow-up to my last post, it was brilliant. The film is from 2007, which is perfect because one of the first scenes is Grant performing at a 20-year high school reunion for the class of 1987. That's my graduating class!

Grant plays, Alex Fletcher, a has-been 80's pop star from a band called POP!, who gets by performing at reunions, amusement parks, and other desperate gigs. Miraculously, a new young star, Cora, played by Haley Bennett, who grew up idolizing Alex, wants him to write a song for her and perform with her. He has not written a song in years and doesn't know where to start. Enter Sophie Fisher (Barrymore), a new person in Alex's life who comes by to take care of his plants. Turns out she is a writer who turned away from her craft after getting burned by her professor from the New School (where I got my Masters). 

After all is said and done, they make music together, and then make music together. Despite the expected matchmaking and light humor that keeps it from getting too deep, the film actually has some good writing and discusses what I covered in my last post: the difference between performing and creating a song, but this film explores how the creative process can develop into a relationship, and it has something to say about the music industry. Pop goes my heart.