Releases February 13th, 2015 (Limited)
1 hr 47 mins
Director: Marc Lawrence
Hugh Grant as Keith Michaels
Marisa Tomei as Holly Carpenter
Bella Heathcote as Karen
J.K. Simmons as Dr. Lerner
Allison Janney as Mary Weldon
Chris Elliott as Jim
Aja Naomi King as Rosa
Maggie Geha as Flo Bai
Olivia Luccardi as Chloe
Caroline Aaron as Ellen
Jason Antoon as Greg Nathan
Annie Q. as Sara Liu
Emily Morden as Andrea Stein-Rosen
Andrew Keenan-Bolger as Billy Frazier
The Rewrite is Hugh Grant's long overdue return to the romantic comedy genre showing that at age 54 he still commands a certain appeal in the right setting. The setting here being rainy Binghamton as a washed up screenwriter turned college professor, Keith Michaels. Reluctant in his new profession preferring to hit on the student body then teach, we see a transformation as he gets second chances in his life.
Hugh Grant's humor is spot on in this well written romantic comedy. The dynamic between Hugh's character and various other characters such as Marisa Tomei's and Allison Janney's is what makes the film good. The supporting cast from Bella Heathcote, to J.K. Simmons and Chris Elliott more than keeps up with Hugh in his outstanding performance with strong performances of their own.
The story has few faults with many interesting characters and clever dialogue. To nick pick, perhaps the film could be shorten a bit as it meanders a bit in parts. As well, the ethics of what Grant's character is doing is beyond questionable though makes him more interesting. His character's chauvinistic characteristics throughout the film starts to wane a little as his character grows, makes this film more men friendly with the portrayal of the student/teacher fantasy coming to life.
Overall, I would recommend this film which is perfect for the Valentine's Day season. While it doesn't feature any bondage like the other Valentine's Day movie, this film's feel good redemption theme shows that a deeper plot more than makes up for selling "sex." The slow build up in relationship for Hugh's character is a bit frustrating but makes it more realistic. The ending is perfect with no need for a rewrite.