The Rewrite


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

The Rewrite
"Don't expect enlightenment or character finesse"

Hugh Grant is Hugh Grant is Hugh Grant.

He's also Charles from Four Weddings, the PM from Love Actually and Daniel from Bridget Jones's Diary.

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Don't expect enlightenment or character finesse. Expect funny blah blah in a treacle cookie. If anyone made the mistake of paying money to see Cloud Atlas they would have experienced a completely different Hugh, the full range of unrecognisable Grants. Brave, or what? Pity the movie tanked.

This time he's into a mid life crisis, territory he has explored before (Music And Lyrics, About A Boy). Oscar winning screen writer Keith Michaels cannot repeat the success of his first script. Studios are no longer enamoured by his charm. He's become a junk heap misfit, casually pitching crap comedy ideas to younger, uninterested producers.

His agent gets him a gig as a teacher at a little known uni in an even lesser known town somewhere in the lost lands of Suburbia County. He takes the view that his job (life?) is a waste of space. "I don't think anything worth knowing can be taught in class," he announces and leaves his handpicked pupils - good looking girls, odd looking boys- to their own devices.

He beds the first nubile student who comes his way while secretly fancying the single mom (Marisa Tomei) who works as a waitress in her spare time. Everything is predictable, nothing funny enough to guff your aws.

Comparing Grant's performance with that of Michael Douglas in Wonder Boys would be cruel. Both play failed writers on campus. Grant wings it, while Douglas notches his tops with considerable style. Of course Wonder Boys is good, with strong support from Tobey Maguire and Robert Downey Jr, and The Rewrite isn't.

There are satirical digs at Hollywood that would have papered the walls of the chemical toilet in the extras' trailer if offered to The Player or Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. There's no cut to this edge. It's safe, sentimental and standard.

Hugh Grant is better than mediocre. Time he proved it.

Reviewed on: 11 Oct 2014
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The Rewrite packshot
Scriptwriter who can't sell his movie ideas to Hollywood ends up in a small town education facility as a teacher.
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Director: Marc Lawrence

Writer: Marc Lawrence

Starring: Hugh Grant, Marisa Tomei, Bella Heathcote, Allison Janney, J.K. Simmons, Chris Elliott, Andrew Keenan-Bolger

Year: 2014

Runtime: 106 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US


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Music And Lyrics
Wonder Boys