As you know, because I've hammered you over the head with it so many times, I review movies as well as books over on Families.com. Being a family-oriented site, I only review G and PG-rated films. But what if I've seen a couple of really good PG-13's lately and want to tell someone about them?
I'll tell you!
The first one is "Stranger Than Fiction." It stars Emma Thompson as a bestselling novelist and Will Farrell as her main character. One day he starts hearing her voice in his head, narrating everything he does. He's the only one who can hear it, and it's driving him crazy and even encouraging him to do things that aren't in his nature to do. When he finally figures out that he's a novelist's character, he manages to track her down (with the help of Dustin Hoffman) and together they solve the problem. I had expected this movie to be 100% comedy, but it was a think piece as well, and I found it deeply moving as well as hysterical.
The other is "Music and Lyrics," with Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. Hugh is one half of an old 80's pop music duo and is considered a has-been who now performs at places like Knottsberry Farm. Drew is a plant girl who comes in to take care of his plants, but she's just filling in for a friend and can't tell the difference between real and silk plants. When Hugh is hired by a teenage singer to write her a hit song, he discovers that Drew has talent with lyrics and he asks her to write the words for the song. But when the singer decides to ruin the song with her own "special additions," they have to find a balance between fame and artistic integrity. The dialogue in this film is fabulous. I would recommend renting it and then fast-forwarding all the parts when the young singer performs -- she's the element that makes it a PG-13 and it's much more enjoyable without her.