Okay, I'll admit it. I'm a real sucker for a cheesy romantic comedy. I mean, what other style of movie would a horror writer be a sucker for, right?
This past weekend, Francine and I rented the Hugh Grant/Drew Barrymore movie Music & Lyrics. Hugh Grant plays a washed-up 80's pop star living off his previously earned wealth and replaying all his old hit songs at school reunions, theme parks, and state fairs. He's given a chance at a real comeback by appearing on a new album with a contemporary hot young star, and ends up working with a character played by Drew Barrymore who has a previously untapped talent for composing lyrics.
The movie opens with a hilarious send-up to music videos from the 80's that has a real Wham! feel to it. (I mean, how much more obvious than the band name "Pop!" could you make the reference?) Early in the movie there's a scene which takes place at a high school reunion that is simply priceless. Francine and I were practically rolling off the couch because we were laughing so hard.
I'm sure the critics must have panned this movie, but we loved it. The plot, writing and direction was simple and economical yet perfectly effective. The characters stayed nicely within their alloted roles (ie, they didn't do anything stupidly outrageous and out of character just to get a cheap laugh) and the movie makes you feel good (as romantic comedies should). I'm sure that part of the reason I liked this movie was the examination of the creative process. But the overall film itself just sat well with me.
I highly recommend this movie to anyone who was a teenager in the 80's -- even if you don't like the story or plot (and there are many fun things to like about it, including the way it mocks the music industry -- both the industry of the 80's as well as the current state of it) you're likely to get enough enjoyment out of the whole nostalgic feel to that as well as the "reality TV" mentality" thing that's also joked about.
And yes, I'll also admit that while the music was also cheesy, it perfectly fit the mood of the movie (Grant and Barrymore actually did a good job of performing in their songs) and I want to hear the songs again. So I'm actually considering buying the sound track.
Okay, now that I've exercised my romantic comedy feelings it's time to go write a scary scene with monsters and blood and gore and stuff.