Monday, March 31, 2008

PoP! Goes My Heart

Song: PoP! Goes My Heart
Artist: PoP! (Hugh Grant)
Album: Music & Lyrics - Music from the Motion Picture

For the most part, romantic comedies, as a genre, pretty much leave me cold. They are usually contrived and annoying, or worse yet… filled with “cringe” moments, times when you see the set up for something a mile away and yet the annoying characters prat-fall their way straight into it. (Basically the last eight years of Ben Stiller’s career.) I’m a fan of romantic comedies that have more going on. The romance can be the heart of the story… but there needs to be more to the plot. I think “Jerry Maguire” is quite underrated in this respect, as it not only has the personal story of a brink-of-a-breakdown sports agent, but a romance. And my favorite romantic comedy, “Working Girl” is not only about the romance between Tess Mcgill and Jack Trainer, but ladder climbing in the corporate world, as well as a Cinderella story on top of that.

Last years “Music & Lyrics” isn’t a GREAT romantic comedy on par with those favorites of mine, but it’s not annoying, maybe just a touch contrived… but coasts along on the charms of its stars, and at the heart is about something I’m quite passionate about… music! And what I love most about the movie is how much fun they have with the music and the characters, as types. Hugh Grant plays an aging pop star from the 80’s (think Wham!) whom is asked to write a song for a Britney Spears-like singer named Coco who wants to upgrade her current image to something more spiritual. (Her last single was the successful but empty, “Welcome to Bootytown”) Drew Barrymore plays the temporary plant lady who happens to come up with brilliant lyrics because Hugh cannot. (Okay, yes it’s a little contrived.)

What made the movie fun for me was seeing and hearing “fake” songs written for the movie worked into the plot. The film opens with a retro video from the aforementioned 80’s band (called “PoP!”) where we get to see Hugh and his former band mate in black and white outfits with skinny ties and goofy 80’s dancing. The song is called “PoP! Goes My Heart” and it’s a silly, super-catchy slice of retro cheese. It’s got the cheesy lyrics and sound effects that make you think you are just listening to a lost gem from ABC or Spandau Ballet. All the little nuances are there, very funny. I also can’t stop listening to it.

The majority of the songs were written by Fountains of Wayne and Ivy alum Adam Schlesinger who, besides writing “Stacy’s Mom” also wrote and received an Oscar and Golden Globe nod for the theme song from “That Thing You Do!” I planned on writing almost strictly about Adam as I incidentally saw “Cry Baby” on Broadway last week Wednesday, which he also wrote the songs to, and then “Music & Lyrics” the following night, but… while I really like the other songs on the album and from the movie, I just have been loving “Pop! Goes My Heart” and it turns out… he didn’t write that one. That particular track was written by Andrew Wyatt whom also contributed some of the fake Coco songs as well.

But I say see the movie, it’s cute.


PoP! Goes My Heart “fake” Music Video

The big song from the movie (and Adam wrote this one) “Way Back into Love”

No comments: