The Rewrite. 2014. Starring Hugh Grant, Marisa Tomei, J.K. Simmons, Chris Eliot, Allison Janney. Written and directed by Marc Lawrence. In theaters & On Demand.
An Oscar-winning writer in a slump leaves Hollywood to teach screenwriting at a college on the East Coast, where he falls for a single mom taking classes there. [IMDb]
Nicole: Great cast, huh? Shame none of the characters played by this terrific cast were developed well enough to do their acting skills any justice. But, wait... I'm getting ahead of myself. The Rewrite comes to us from the same creative team responsible for Music and Lyrics and Two Weeks Notice, both of which not-so-coincidentally star Hugh Grant. Grant is anything if not loyal to his director friends, and most of the time it serves him well. Unfortunately, it didn't this time.
elizabeth: I was hoping we were going to have a Four Weddings and a Funeral or Love Actually movie for 2015. But no. I don’t want to write too much about this movie because it seems the writer did not want to write a screenplay that could bring Hugh Grant and Marisa Tomei together in a humorous romp. So boring.
Nicole: Such potential. Such opportunity. Such a loss. The Rewrite centers around Keith Michaels (played by Grant), a nearly washed up Oscar-winning screenwriter who is forced to leave LA and head to Binghamton, NY to earn some much-needed cash as a guest screenwriting instructor. Once there, he falls into all of the expected pitfalls that a once famous quasi-celeb turned professor might experience: shacking up with a student half his age, unwittingly sexually harassing a faculty member who sits on the ethics committee, and phoning in anything that has to do with teaching his class. There is very little that is likable about Keith Michaels, except, of course, Grant's signature adorably bumbling delivery. But, at least his character grows...he has an arc, which is more than can be said of any other character in the film.
elizabeth: You are being too kind. At 54, Grant should lose that adorable bumbling delivery of his 20s and 30s and had given us an actor with range which I think he is quite capable of doing. I just wonder if all of these actors needed to experience a month in Binghamton, NY. I see no other reason for this film.
Nicole: I dunno. I still have a soft spot for his type of characters. Let's face it... I will watch almost anything with Hugh Grant, because I'm shallow. Hey, at least I admit it. He ticks all the boxes in my book. But, he was not enough to turn this into a great film. Ultimately, the problem with The Rewrite is rather ironic...in that it's in dire need of a "rewrite." It meant well, and it could have been something special with a bit more effort. Still, it's not entirely unwatchable. It's pleasant enough--just don't expect to be bowled over.
The Film Fatales give THE REWRITE