Opening with a very 80s "Wham!" feeling music video, we meet Alex, the 80s/early 90s music has-been. He mostly wanders about doing lounge acts and hotel gigs these days, since the group split up. Alex is asked to help write a song for Cora, the new mega-superstar teen sensation, and has less than a week to do it.
Sophie is the woman who pops 'round to water plants, though it's painfully apparent her green thumb has long since wilted. (Whether over-watering the living plants or the plastic ones, she seems oblivious.) But, she can turn a rhyme, and given Alex writes the musical melodies, not lyrics, he needs a lyricist, fast.
And the rest of 'Music and Lyrics' writes itself. Hugh Grant as Alex plays the character he, well, always places -- a bit self-absorbed, fast with a one-liner but shallow in virtually every way, at least, initially. Drew Barrymore as Sophie also doesn't really enter any groundbreaking territory; if you've seen '50 First Dates,' you know the character: sweet girl, a bit slow-witted, and doing that blank stare to a child-like gleeful grin that we've been treated to since E.T. first phoned home.
Which isn't to suggest 'Music and Lyrics' isn't a bad result by any means. The writing is witty and entertaining (if it feels a bit like Two Weeks Notice, also with Hugh Grant, it could be it was also written and directed by the same chap, Marc Lawrence). Things moved along at a nice pace, and the desire to gaze at the clock was minimal.
If you're looking to find it a niche, the Date Movie bucket would be a pretty good choice. It has those warm, fuzzy elements that appeal to one half of the couple, without being so emasculating that it turns off the other half of the couple. The audience was predominately of this ilk, but given 'Ghost Rider' was one screen over and opened on a larger scale, the demographic breakdown is self-explanatory.
'Music and Lyrics' wasn't groundbreaking in exploring new ideas, plots, or developing new characters. It was successful in delivering a walk-away, feel good mood, though, and if you're a fan of either or both of Grant or Barrymore, you won't be disappointed. (And failing that, guys, the Cora character, played by newcomer Haley Bennett, probably won't have you complaining too loudly for her contributions, either.)