Although romantic comedies aren’t my forte, I have admitted to liking a few in the past, and surprisingly a good number of the ones I have found tolerable or even likeable star Hugh Grant. So I go into watching this film with an open mind and hopefully we’ll see some results out of Music and Lyrics.
Alex Fletcher (Hugh Grant, Nine Months) is a founding member of the hit 80’s pop group appropriately named PoP! And although he surmounted to a considerable amount of fame during his prime, he is no… contempt as being a has-been. Still Alex gets the opportunity of a career revival when current chart toping diva Cora Corman (Haley Bennett) offers to perform with him in a duet, which he must compose in a short period of time. Having not written anything in quite some time, Alex decides to enlist the help of a lyricist to get the ball rolling. After some convincing Alex convinces the unsure Sophie Fisher (Drew Barrymore, Charlie’s Angles) collaborate with him, and while getting places with their music there is obvious signs of an attraction from both parties. But things get more complicated as the two submit their song to Cora Corman. Although initially loving it she changes some things around pitting Alex and Sophie in awkward positions, at the same time the two try to deal with the feelings for each other.
I will admit I was pleasantly surprised with Music and Lyrics and although it wasn’t completely free of sappiness and clichés it managed to be rather entertaining. To my surprise there wasn’t all that much in the romance department, it focused more on the lyric writing and subsequent performing of the song. My only major complaint being the abundance of singing in this film and although the title should imply this I still can’t enjoy a movie with too much song in it.
Ultimately I think Music and Lyrics would be a great watch for fans of the genre. If you have to sit around and watch a movie that your wife or girlfriend picked out this one wouldn’t be the worst to check out, but don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a great film, just extremely tolerable for being what it is.
Presented in 1080p 1.85:1 aspect and encoded in VC1, Music and Lyrics is definitely one of the better looking romantic comedies on HD DVD. First off the colors and flesh tones both maintain a realistic look consistently throughout the film, and the black levels remain deep and rich, with no signs of grain or artifacts. But for me the most impressive aspect of the video transfer was within its ability to show subtle details like wrinkles and pores really bringing out those bags under Hugh Grant’s eyes, because of things like this I’d have to say this is the most 3D looking romantic comedy I have seen on HD DVD. The only complaint I have for this video transfer was that the picture looked soft on occasion, but this only occurred a few times throughout the entire picture. Regardless Warner provided a great looking transfer for Music and Lyrics, one that will easily be enjoyed by fans.
Warner has included a Dolby Digital Plus track that really left me wanting more, especially for a movie based around music. I was disappointed to hear the track rely so much on the front channels; with the exception of a few scenes the rear channels and subs are hardly used. Thankfully the dialogue remained solid despite it initially sounding flat; everything ends up coming through crisp and clear. The soundtrack sounds good as well, and never overpowers the dialogue. But ultimately Warner has provided a pretty average track for its release of Music and Lyrics. It sounds one sided with its lack of rear and sub support but what you loose there is almost made up for with pristine balancing and a great sounding dialogue track.
Fans who expected a good amount of features will be very disappointed, but at least what we get is halfway decent. Unfortunately following suit of past Warner releases all the features are presented in SD.
- Additional Scenes – Seven additional scenes accumulating 11 minutes, nothing entirely special but still worth a view.
- Gag Reel – 4 minutes of gag footage, some of it’s rather funny but overall a pretty weak gag reel.
- Note for Note: The Making of Music and Lyrics – A 13 minute making of feature that includes cast interviews. It’s interesting at times but ultimately its just a recap of the movies premise.
- PoP! Goes My Heart Music Video – The fictitious group PoP!’s music video. A funny 80’s style video with Hugh Grant in character of Alex Fletcher.
Although Music and Lyrics wasn’t anything outstanding it was nonetheless enjoyable, I found it to be a rather amusing film about music and relationships. If you are a fan of the genre then there is no doubt that you will enjoy this picture. Combined with a near perfect video transfer this seems like a pretty good disc. Unfortunately it doesn’t sound as good as it looks, and the features are rather disappointing. So unless you are a fan of the movie I wouldn’t bother purchasing this disc, but if you do you won’t be disappointed.
Special Features List
- Additional Scenes
- Gag Reel
- Note for Note: The Making of Music and Lyrics
- PoP! Goes My Heart Music Video