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Stars: Hugh Grant, Drew Barrymore, Brad Garrett, Haley Bennett, Campbell Scott, Kristen Johnston

Director: Marc Lawrence

Hugh Grant sings! And our Hugh can at least, as they say, carry a tune, as an eighties' pop idol, now reduced to singing at fairs and amusement parks.

'They're hot for you,' exclaims his manager (lugubrious, steeple-tall Garrett), as a group of enthusiasts gathers round. Hugh is sceptical. 'Yeah,' he replies,'most of them are hot from going through the menopause.'

He even considers taking part in a 'has-been' TV show where ex pop stars take each other on in the boxing ring.

The first 20 minutes of this enjoyable romp are often very funny, but, although it never quite loses its sense of the absurd, it develops into a more conventional romcom after Hugh encounters oddball Barrymore, as a girl who has come to tend his plants. Drew proves to have an uncanny flair for lyrics, which is handy for Hugh as pop diva Cory Corman (Bennett) is looking for a new song and Hugh is aces with melodies.

Unfortunately, Cory is an airhead (Britney Spears, move over), who says things like 'I wanna show you the roof. It's upstairs' and has weird ideas about how Hugh and Drew's song should be performed. Drew storms out and we're all set for a big romantic finish.

It's a chick flick all right, but Hugh's on form, the songs are all amusing pastiches of the real thing, and the odds are you'll have a good time.

David Quinlan

USA 2007. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Technicolor.
104 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 04 Feb 2007