The first three minutes of Music and Lyrics are arguably the best. The film opens with a brilliantly cheesy '80s music video featuring the group PoP!, singing a hit appropriately entitled "Pop Goes My Heart." Both the band and the hit are fictional, but anyone old enough to remember the dawn of the MTV-era will appreciate the historical accuracy of the clip. Checkered backdrops, big hair, bad acting, worse dancing, and monster synthesizer hooks are all put to wonderfully evocative use. And it's especially fun to realize, about 30 seconds into the video, that one of PoP!'s pretty boy leads is none other than Hugh Grant.
The final 93 minutes of the film may not quite live up to the glory of the first three, but they are agreeably spent exploring the present-day life of Grant's Alex Fletcher. PoP's other lead vocalist, Colin, has gone on to enjoy immense success as a solo artist, while Alex has gone on to land the occasional gig at amusement parks and '80s reunions. (You may find yourself thinking about the "other guy" from Wham). Still, Alex has managed to retain his sense of humor, his knack for melodies and a decent manager named Chris Riley (Everybody Loves Raymond's Brad Garrett). Early in the movie, Chris informs Alex that Cora, a teen dance sensation currently dominating the charts, has a penchant for retro artists and would like him to write a song and then sing it with her at the launch of her world tour. Given only a few days to deliver the song, Alex is keen to try. But first he has to find a lyricist.
Royalties have kept Alex in a swank New York apartment, with a grand piano and enough plants to warrant a plant-girl. Good thing, too, because it turns out that Sophie Fisher (Drew Barrymore), the substitute plant-girl, ...1