Wednesday Preview: No Presidents, Only Love and Smooching with Music and Lyrics, Daddy's Little Girl

Hmmm, we've got movies opening on a Wednesday ... is it a holiday weekend? Ah, yes, indeed it is: Monday is Presidents' Day, and the studios are getting a jump on the long Presidents' Day weekend, traditionally a time for consumers to get great bargains on mattresses and last year's cars, and to spend at least a day at the multiplex wallowing in the glory of history with flicks about our great leaders. Yes, I remember it well, last year's Presidents' Day romantic comedy blockbuster, George Washington Slept Here.

It looks like Hollywood is trying to replicate that success with the two rom-coms opening today, though -- oddly enough -- former Commanders in Chief seem to be missing from both films. Why would Hollywood open not one but two flicks about love and romance and kissing and cuddling and all that mushy stuff this weekend in particular if there were no presidential elements to them? I simply don't get it.

But here we are with Music and Lyrics, starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore playing, apparently, the same roles they've played a hundred times before in the kind of movie they've both done a hundred times before: they're cutesy, goofy singles who are, deep down in their secret hearts, actually tender and sensitive, and they fall in love in the first five minutes and then spend the rest of the running time climbing over the artificial barriers the cruel screenwriter throws in front of them. I was offered the opportunity to see this, but the screening was at the exact same time as another screening of a film that wasn't going to make me want to kill myself -- or, more likely, someone else, such as the screenwriter, cast, director, caterer, best boy, and completion-bond guarantor -- so I gave it a pass.

I was not offered the opportunity to see Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls, which looks like a rerun of The Brady Bunch, except I bet Daddy's little girls are a bunch of wiseass little snots who need a whack on their behinds (and won't get it). Considering Tyler Perry's track record, keeping the film from critics was probably a wise choice on the part of Lionsgate. It does seem as if Tyler Perry himself is not doing a rerun of his appalling fatface Madea character (Perry is not among the credited cast), the most genuinely horrifying element in his other films, so he must have found all new ways to bring the art of cinema down to a new low.

Let's wait and see what happens on Friday -- maybe we'll get a good presidents movie yet this weekend ....


MaryAnn Johanson

author of The Totally Geeky Guide to The Princess Bride

minder of