On-camera and off, cheerful self-deprecation is the key to Hugh Grant's formidable charm. This breezy romantic comedy takes advantage of that trait, casting Grant as Alex Fletcher, an '80s teen pop sensation turned happy has-been. Alex is content to coast on past glory, shaking his booty at oldies shows for lustful female fans who long ago traded miniskirts for mom jeans. That is, until he teams with Sophie Fisher (Barrymore), a neophyte lyricist who challenges him to stretch himself.
Director-writer Marc Lawrence (Two Weeks Notice) keeps this lightweight affair grounded by nailing details about how the music industry really works. Grant and Barrymore make for a sunny match, with his suave drollness balancing her klutzy emotionalism. And a dead-on parody of an echt-'80s music video–think really pouffy hair–alone is worth the ticket price. (PG-13)