Director: Marc Lawrence
Cast: Hugh Grant, Marisa Tomei, Allison Janney, J.K. Simmons, Aja Naomi King, Chris Elliott, Bella Heathcote, Maggie Geha, Olivia Luccardi, Caroline Aaron, Annie Q., Jason Antoon, Nicole Patrick
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Age Rating: 12A/PG-13
Running Time: 107 Minutes
A Netflix night brought along a romantic comedy I had seen some promotion around when it was released about a year and a half ago, and I have to say if you’re looking for a simple, tongue in cheek, not overly romantic comedy, THE REWRITE is for you.
Keith Michaels (Hugh Grant) is a washed up ex-Hollywood screenwriter, who is desperate to find some meaning in life and his writing once again. Desperate for work and appreciation, he takes a teaching role at a small-town college, where he fills his screen-writing class with beautiful young ladies, shy guys and a passionate and dedicated single mum named Holly (Marisa Tomei) who he develops a close and meaningful relationship with. Complete with a solid cast featuring the likes of Oscar winner J.K. Simmons, comedy regulars Chris Elliott and Allison Janney, and a selection of future talent, THE REWRITE blends a script full of sarcastic comedy with a deeper underlying story, to present the viewer with a surprisingly entertaining 107 minutes.
As always, Hugh Grant brings his eloquent british charm to the screen, and even though in his mid-50s now, he still apparently warms the hearts of young women out there. His sarcasm is on point in this feature film, and he and J.K. Simmons bounce off each other brilliantly, working the same sort of comedy here.
Unfortunately, I can’t say too much about his co-star in this feature, as I didn’t feel that there was enough chemistry between them, and if anything Marisa Tomei took on more of a motherly figure than the ‘love of his life’ expectation which left me a bit disappointed as I am usually a fan of her. Still, Hugh Grant always manages to make it about the one girl in the end, and this resulted in a classic rom-com ending, which seemed to help glaze over Tomei’s average performance.
What was great about THE REWRITE however, is that it was not just all about Grant and Tomei, but instead the pupils around them. It showed a man developing not just his romantic side once again, but also his professional and parental side which had left him with a distant son.
Overall, THE REWRITE was a nice simple watch which did not challenge the mind too much or leave us with memorable romantic one-liners, but it kept us engaged throughout and it was also quite refreshing to see Hugh Grant once again doing what he does best; acting alongside good-looking, talented American actresses, and working the heart strings a little (but not too much).
Recommendation: Well worth a Netflix date night in, but don’t build this up as a must watch, just simply a “watch if you’ve got a chance”.