2 February 2015

DVD Review - The Re-Write (2014)



Genre:
Comedy, Romance
Distributor:
Lionsgate Films
DVD/BD Release Date:
2nd February 2015 (UK Digital)
9th February 2015(UK DVD)
Rating: 12
Director:
Marc Lawrence
Cast:Hugh Grant, Marisa Tomei, J.K Simmons, Chris Elliott, Alison Janney,
Buy: The Rewrite [DVD]

The Rewrite follows Keith Michaels (Hugh Grant), a struggling screenwriter who had an Oscar-winning film ‘Paradise Misplaced’ 15 years ago, that is roped into teaching a screenwriting course by his agent. After a rocky start, he eventually learns about second chances, and the importance of family. It begins with, what appears to be, a heavily clich├ęd character – the once-successful celebrity now finding himself in a slump – however, this negative opinion is quickly rectified, as Grant adds a number of different layers to his character, who learns through his experiences in the obscure and quiet upstate New York college.

This is the 4th collaboration of Hugh Grant and Marc Lawrence, who previously worked together on Music & Lyrics and Did You Hear About the Morgans?, proving that they are the perfect team. Grant definitely still has his charm – playing the bumbling, endearing gentlemen we have all come to know and love. His supporting cast, including Marisa Tomei, J.K Simmons, Chris Elliott and Alison Janney, are brilliant, all adding something to the narrative with their own storylines and rapport with the protagonist. Marisa Tomei is very well cast as Holly, the charismatic sophomore student balancing numerous jobs, her degree and raising her two children, who joins Keith’s screen-writing class after pestering him to read her script. Alison Janney’s character is another highlight, an uptight ethics committee leader who berates him during a cheese and wine party after he criticises Jane Austen’s work.

All of Lawrence’s characters are clever and develop quickly, giving us an insight into their (very human) lives. My only criticism was that some of the sub-plots could have been developed further – Keith’s relationship with his son, Holly’s daughters and the student’s screenwriting endeavours – all very interesting storylines, which felt somehow stunted.

The is no big Hollywood-style kiss at the end – rather, everything is implied – however, this perfectly shadows the film’s theme of a man who takes himself away from Hollywood and moves to a quieter area, where everything begins to come together for him. Rather than making a Rom-Com to sweep its audience away with Grant’s charm and a done-to-death story of undying love, it is more of a tranquil film about the ‘late bloomers’ in life and the importance of second chances, and is very well-executed from the director and all the cast involved.

The DVD extras contain an interview with Hugh Grant about his role in the film. The Rewrite is available for digital download from 2nd February and on DVD/Blu-Ray from 9th February.

★★★★

Jenn Spiers


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