The incidents in a conventional music film are easy to guess, and therefore they need emotional materials to connect characters and stories, and their own artistic philosophy. Unfortunately, “Music and Lyrics” lacks of that.
Born at the same time as Once (2007), the Oscar 2008 Original Motion Picture, by Irish director John Carney. If Once talked about the unintentional encounter between two anonymous musicians, struggling on the road to a career, but with infinite passion for music and endeavoring to stay on the path of art, Music and Lyrics “is about life after the passing of a musical star and a love story with a gifted girl. Compared to Once, “Music and Lyrics” is not a great movie and can leave long-lasting sobs to the viewer, except for the main song in the movie – Way Back Into Love (by Adam L. Schlesinger), the gentle warmth of the male lead Hugh Grant. But if you’re looking for a movie for the weekend, “Music and Lyrics” may be a good choice.
After the break up of PoP, Alex even released his solo single and pursued a solo career, but still could not do as well as he did before. The taste of music changed, the need to enjoy music is also turning non-stop, Alex is now a male singer is overshadowed with the old dance moves. Now, he only sings on the small points, the amusement parks, where middle-aged women come from, who are his old female fans. Once upon a time, Cora Corman (Haley Bennett) is searching for a new collaborator to create a special song for her live show and upcoming album. Coran requested that the song be called “Way back into love”, expressing what she wanted to convey to her lover just broke up. Her assistant has found a number of music writers, including Alex Fletcher, a member of the PoP band Coran admired as a child.
Alex wanted to “win” this contract, and realized that this was also his chance to return to the big stage, a high chance of his career being restored. But the challenge is that when Alex can only write music, there is a shortage of lyricists for this song. Once in a while, Alex heard the girl watering her house, Sophie Fisher (Drew Barrymore) mourn read poetry. So Alex persuaded Sophie to write lyrics for his music. Sophie, however, is not confident in her abilities; she thinks she is just a normal girl, working at a slimming company that sells baby food every day. People hire to take care of the trees. Sophie does not believe in her writing and poetry. With Alex convinced, Sophie finally agreed to help him. However, in the process of working together to perfect Way back into love, Alex and Sophie have encountered disagreements in the viewpoint of life, and thanks to their contradictions, viewers can recognize the meaning of music, Music is born to speak for things that ordinary language can not express, not just a tool for the composer to be famous. More precisely, music, with Sophie, Alex or Coran, is to find their love again.
The glory has inevitably become an invisible force that Alex has lost his temper and “betrayed” his musical past. He left Coran free to cover the song in a sexy way, dance and follow a melody that had nothing to do with the lyrics. (And of course, fortunately, Sophie has appeared and Way back into love has finally been shown as the original way it must have). Alex lied to himself and praised Coran for his innovative style, as it was the current fashion. But Sophie, on the other hand, wants Alex and Coran to sing better, to fully appreciate the beauty of the sound and lyrics of the two. Sophie frankly spoke up her thoughts to Coran, and this prompted Alex to fear that Coran would cancel his contract, would not choose Way back into his love anymore. Alex, severely distressed at Sophie, is actually a very amateur with only a sense of emotion, and she is actually just such a mundane woman as Sloan Cates writes about her. Sloan was an intellectual, under the name of a writer, who made Sophie obsessive and helpless by the stories that humiliate her in his best-selling book. Too distressed, Sophie decided to leave Alex, though she knew she had already loved him.
In the meantime, Alex felt guilty and tormented because he was angry with Sophie. And more importantly, he realizes that he can not write and perfect Way back into love without her lyrics, and that Sophie is truly his love, she has come and helped him to perfect his life. Myself. And she is the love of his return after all that time not to let emotions involved in his life.
Ending the film takes place under the familiar motif and makes the viewer can smile.
However, to me, the end of the film has not brought enough emotion so I can remember more. And this may be the failure of the film. Though the episodes in music films are easy to guess, so they need emotional materials to connect their characters, stories and philosophy to the arts. “Music and Lyrics” lacks that. For example, before leaving, Sophie frankly told Alex about his failed album, why they lay so long on the shelf for years. Because he only sang to be popular, he did not really sing to express his feelings, Alex did not sing with what he is. Alex fans Bob Dyland, The Beatles and once upon a time, he wanted to pursue their artistic views, bravely defending their own substance. But the reputation and the temptations of the clapping of contracts made him forget the ideal of music. Going back to Jeff Tweedy’s above quote, Alex has not yet forgotten the grandeur of the past, yet he has not really thrown everything away so he’s ready to make his own song, which can be seen through PoP’s poster, after many years, is still present throughout his room. It was this that put Alex in the deadlock of creativity and his own career path completely stalled in place. If the director can develop further from Hugh Grant’s inner workings, his gaze, his fears, then perhaps the film will be more successful and unforgettable.
“Music and Lyrics” is a movie that is not as successful as it looks, but still a memorable comeback for Hollywood idol Hugh Grant. “Music and Lyrics” came out after he received the Cesar Honor Award in 2006 for his contributions to the film industry. The warmth and friendly style of a movie star has helped Hugh Grant find it easy to play Alex. And Drew Barrymore, she is beautiful, rebellious and cute as the image of the 90s. The combination of the two, although not really have the connection internally, but still brings a slight relaxation time. For the viewer, because of their natural and professional acting skills, and most importantly, as Sophie said in the movie, it was emotional.