Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Music and Lyrics

(UK, 2007)

Picture this if you will (I have a hard time doing it, and I just saw it!): Britney Spears (or Michael Jackson, or somebody with a similar sort of show) comes out on stage to a spray of fireworks, smoke, lasers, swirling spotlights, pounding bass, all the rigmarole that such concerts have become these days. She’s wearing not much, and so are the two dozen hip-hopping dancers all around her. She thrusts her pelvis and belly button and boobs at the audience for five minutes to the beat of something that might be music or might be one of the turbines at Hoover Dam having a nervous breakdown. The crowd goes wild! They’re standing on the seats, they’re foaming at the mouth, they’re ripping up the linoleum! Brit does this for five minutes, gives ‘em a big finish, and finally the opening number is over. Then she quiets the crowd and says, “And now, for the second number, here is my good friend Barry Manilow, to sing ‘Feelings.’” And that old has-been comes out and sits behind the piano, unaccompanied, and begins to croon. And the audience sits still and listens! Not only that, they cheer him when he’s done!

That’s how this movie ends, only it’s Hugh Grant at the piano, and he’s singing some dreadful song he’s written, off-the-cuff, to win back the heart of Drew Barrymore, who is in the audience, but the movie has lost me long before it reaches this level of stupidity. No need to get into more specifics of the plot: Boy meets girl (well, he’s only 47), boy loses girl, boy gets girl, right? An amazingly easy formula to screw up, and they’ve screwed this one big-time. Let me just add that, if your romantic couple spends all the movie writing a song that’s going to be a big hit, you’d better have a song that’s pretty good to deliver at the end. They don’t have any good songs here.