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Out of tune

PUBLISHED: 16:05 12 February 2007 | UPDATED: 08:48 21 July 2010

Music And Lyrics (PG) THIS film constantly tells us that to write the perfect song, all you need is the right mix of music and lyrics. But it fails to reveal the formula for making the perfect film..

Music And Lyrics (PG)

THIS film constantly tells us that to write the perfect song, all you need is the right mix of music and lyrics.

But it fails to reveal the formula for making the perfect film - and that's because it never quite gets round to figuring that one out.

While things do start on a good note, with a brilliant spoof video encapsulating all that was terrible about Wham, Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet and other bands of that ilk, it soon goes downhill.

Hugh Grant plays Alex Fletcher, a washed-up, 1980s' has-been from a band called Pop!, whose career has been in decline ever since his soulmate and writing partner left for bigger and better things.

With his options limited to reality TV shows, when he gets the chance to write a song for worldwide pop star, Cora, Alex sees it as his last opportunity to salvage his career.

The only problem is that his lyrics are completely devoid of emotion and after employing a string of seasoned helpers, he still can't come up with the goods.

However, when Sophie Fisher (Drew Barrymore) comes to water his plants and absent-mindedly sings along to his melody, he finds the perfect, yet reluctant, writing partner, and he spends the rest of the film trying to woo into scripting the song with him.

While it boasts a stellar cast - and you can't fault Grant's singing skills - the film's efforts to tie things up neatly just makes it seem as hastily and messily put together as his first attempts at songwriting.

We are left with a film that ticks all the boxes, but fails to make a mark, which sadly turns it into as much a contender for the bargain bin as the '80s' music before it.

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