Watching The Rewrite evokes nostalgic memories of the 1990’s Brigitte Jones Diaries. Rom-coms just haven’t been the same without Hugh Grant. After two decades, Hugh Grant is back with his dashing charm that can sweep any woman off her feet, or so I thought.
Marc Lawrence, the writer and director of ‘The Rewrite’ roped in Grant to play the role of Keith Michaels, an Oscar-winning Hollywood screenwriter that is forced to take a job as a college professor in New York. He takes on the job because he is desperate for work as none of his scripts seem to fit the profile of what Hollywood is after and to make things worse his wife left him and his relationship with his son is basically non-existent.
The staff and students are star-struck by his renowned profile and take an instant liking to him. However, that impression soon fades when he proves himself to be an arrogant jerk that has no interest in education. All sorts of obscene events unravel in his quest to drown himself in his miserable life to the point where he has an inappropriate affair with an aspirant scribe Karen (Bella Heathcote), even though dating students is a dismissive offense. Keith begins to lose popularity amongst the faculty members especially the department head of the ethics committee (Allison Janney). A series of mess-ups allow Keith to re-discover his desire for writing after he befriends Holly Carpenter (Marisa Tomei) a single mother in his class. Their relationship develops and Keith begins to revive his passions for life.
Lawrence makes use of a clever witty banter that makes the story funny and appealing, but the characters are very hollow. The thinly drawn female cast is disappointing as their background is never explained making the story somewhat inauthentic. Holly brings zest into Keith’s lonely life, but he doesn’t grow to appreciate Holly for who she is (a resourceful beautiful woman with a gift for writing)… I was expecting Keith to passionately win her love over, but disappointingly that did not happen.
The film is a semi-romantic comedy that is mildly entertaining. It has a clever storyline that unfortunately just doesn’t come together in the end as there are too many themes floundering. The ‘Aww’ moment of a sweet cosy romance is absent. If you’re looking for a wholesome filmic experience then this rom-com is not for you…. However, if you’re a fan of Hugh Grant this might feed your appetite.