Friday, April 27, 2007

I fell in love with "Music and Lyrics"

What it is about

Has been 80's pop idol Alex Fletcher (Hugh Grant) has one last chance to revive his career from low-paying appearances in theme parks and high-school reunions. Ruling teen-Goddess Cora Corman (Britney Spears + early Aguilera + Shakira) asks him to compose a song for her latest singles album. Problem - Alex is a pathetic lyricist. Sophie Fisher (Barrymore) appears to be one last chance he has. That is if she can get over her insecurity and if he can overcome the urge to repeat his past success.

When should I watch it

Right now! I just came back watching it and I am already considering a DVD purchase when it's released. This is within the top 3 movies I have watched in this year. Please keep in mind that I watched over 110 movies in this year already and am not much of a fan of the pure "romantic" movies! Still, I gave M&L a 9/10 in IMDB a few minutes back.

Reasons I loved it -

(1) Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore are the King and Queen of romantic comedy. Despite their very strong presence and despite sharing the screen for just about 13 minutes, 17 year old Haley Bennett stole the show as the edgy yet likable teen idol Cora Corman.

(2) Like any successful romantic movie, the story is simple and with enough touchy-funny moments. To paraphrase from the movie, a good romance is much like dating an attractive person first time. You will always relish the time you're at it. A love story, on the other hand, is probably like lyrics. You notice the real person -- or the words -- later and possibly understand your deeper feelings for him/her/ composition. M&L follows every known formula of good romance and, yet, makes your in-theater moments truly enjoyable.

(3) Just for the reasons given above, I would have given M&L a 6.5/10. What really made the difference was the exceptionally made 80's pop hit video and -- in the end credits -- Pop-Up Video style "trivia" on the video.

Pop-Up video has remained my most favorite TV-program ever! PUV is an intensively researched and supremely hilarious wave of mostly useless trivia accompanying hit musical videos (rarely, some movies too). The serialization of the facts would often lead to an inescapable trivia chain starting from a very topical fact (Simpson twins' "Hold Me Now" -- " 60% of callers who are put on hold hang up") that often ends in a related yet inconsequential -- sometimes unverifiable and so, naughtily addictive -- factoid(" The same percentage of women like "to be held" before sex") .

The same song had the pop-up question -- " Twins are most likely to be found in which US state?" You would be an idiot to pay any attention to the music -- or even to the raunchy video if it is one -- before they show the next pop-up-- "Minnesota".

As a trivia obsessed person who lives to watch movies and loves a well made spoof, nothing could have satisfied me more than a great take-off on 80s music videos (the part where Hugh Grant is unconscious on a hospital bed but wakes up singing as soon as the busty nurse bends down to inspect him -- takes the cake!) followed by a faux-Pop-Up Video style rendition of the same! That was sweet.


  • What could be more entertaining than a PhD style article on pop-up video? The whole point of pop-up video was to make guys who hate TV watch TV.
  • Sadly, no new pop-up video episode was made after 2002. They still show some of the old episodes in VH1.
  • Only one DVD (Pop-Up Video:80s) is available on the series. Search Ebay!
  • Some of the trivia gems from pop-up video - (each line is a pop-up, following the earlier) --
Song -- "Rush Rush" -- Paula Abdul
  • Rushing on stairs causes nearly 1 million injuries per year.
  • Rush Limbaugh has rushed to the altar several times - his 1994 marriage was his third.
  • Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas performed the ceremony.
Song -- "Hold Me Now" -- Thompson Twins
  • A "new button" was introduced around the world in 1938.
  • (shows picture of flashing "HOLD" button)
Song -- "What is Love?" -- Howard Jones
  • 78% of Americans say they are currently "romantically involved."
  • The same percentage say songs about love are "unromantic."
  • Percentage of marriages that end in death or divorce: 100
Song -- "Stranger in Moscow" -- Michael Jackson
  • A stranger in Moscow is a neznakomets.
  • In Los Angeles: freak
Song -- "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" -- Whitney Houston
  • What are the most common daydream subjects?
  • Sex and career change
Song -- "Cryin'" -- Aerosmith
  • Wolves chew and spit out food for their young to eat.
  • Humans do not.
  • Humans are the only animals that cry when upset.
  • At age 13, most Americans develop their first case of "puppy love."
  • Age 13 1/2: first phobias.
Some other gems --
  • Every minute in the United States, 6 people turn 17.
  • There are 114 Jacks currently living in Bloomington. (Then) -- None of them live with a Diane.
  • According to the Hosiery Association of America, a pair pf pantyhose should last 8 wearings. (then) -- 2 is the norm.
  • This video was shot 452 years to the day after Copernicus' death.
  • A banana is 75% water.
  • Nuclear war would freeze most of the earth - not melt it.
  • Cold showers actually increase sexual arousal.
  • Frogs have no lips.
I could not find any original pop-up video clip, but here's one on Mandy Moore that's close to the original (though, the real pop-up 'sound' and the entry pattern don't match)! I am told MTV-India had also done some pop-up video style episodes on Bollywood numbers in late 90s. This person can validate that. May I request a post, Sir?

1 comment:

Dipta Chaudhuri said...

When I was walking out of the theatre after M&L, I sat down just to watch the full "pop-up video" spoof!
And I told Tina that Nilendu would love only this part in the entire movie!

And the Indian equivalent of Pop-up Video was Cheeto Chat, I think!