The Rewrite (2014)

<strong class="MovieTitle">The Rewrite</strong> (2014)

(On TV, February 2019) I’m an enthusiastic and forgiving audience for stories about writers, so it was natural that I’d eventually gravitate to The Rewrite even years after its release. Focused on a washed-up Hollywood screenwriter who takes a teacher’s job in a northeastern university, The Rewrite is, at its best, an entertaining trifle of a comedy/drama with a few pointed jokes at Hollywood, academia and those who make “being a writer” too big a part of their identity. It’s actually the kind of story that begs to be a novel more than a movie, but I’m not about to complain given that it features the ever-likable Hugh Grant in the main role, and my perennial movie-crush Marisa Tomei. A strong supporting cast (J. K. Simmons! Bella Heathcote in a substantial role! Allison Janney!) helps the film get rolling and remain likable throughout. (Well, likable despite the unlikable character played by likable Hugh Grant. It’s that kind of film.) The plot itself is serviceably in thrall to the usual rom-com tropes, albeit with a bit of a harder edge than usual in terms of character growth. The clash of culture between Hollywood and Academia is amusing in its own right, and it feels as if the lead character does earn his happy ending along the way. The Rewrite is nowhere near an essential movie, but it’s likable enough to be worth a look for anyone interested in its lead actors or subject matter. I had a good-enough time watching it.

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