The Rewrite Blu-ray Review
I’ve always had a dream of writing an Oscar winning screenplay. I truly mean that in the singular form. I have no aspirations to continue working. It’s not about living off the money I make because writers always seem to be at the bottom of the Hollywood money making pool. No, I just would like to have that one crowning achievement added to the exact simple family life I live right now.
THE REWRITE follows an Oscar winning screenwriter, who only had the one hit roughly ten years ago. Unlike my desire, Keith Michaels (Hugh Grant) desperately wants to create more than one worthy piece of material but he can no longer find work. Keith reluctantly agrees to a short term teaching job at an East Coast college. Instead of picking his ten-person screenwriting class by the many first act screenplay submissions, Keith looks up each student online, choosing only the prettiest of females with a couple of spazzy boys for good measure. Keith’s greatest crime as a teacher isn’t the fact that he sleeps with one of his students before his first day, but that he firmly believes that one cannot teach talent. Clearly, Keith is not the ideal man for the job, but when an ambitious, optimistic single mother of two (Marisa Tomei), works her way into his class, Keith’s perspective begins to change.
For all intents and purposes, I like THE REWRITE. It’s easy and cute to put it simply. However, the film is riddled with frustrations that it burdens upon itself. The film has a running joke that no one is interested in Keith’s work because Hollywood is currently obsessed with female leads. While females have begun to finally get a little more credit and take a surge in films, the idea that they are the new privileged white male is ludicrous. In fact, the film doesn’t treat women with much respect at all, proving that another male centric movie can easily be made. Even within the confines of the story, the only student who Keith believes has a genuinely great screenplay, happens to be one of the two males in the class. Furthermore, the one student who Keith sleeps with, an action that is less forgivable if played by a woman, is treated almost like the villain. Everything is okay though, because clearly due to her screenplay, she is dealing with daddy issues. A fact so painfully obvious that it’s insulting to believe any credible screenwriter wouldn’t connect the dots.
The supporting cast of adults is chalk full of talent, which helps make the flaws easier to overlook. Hugh Grant and Marisa Tomei play the leads with such believability it’s hard to think they are much different from their characters. Chris Elliot is very funny as a self-deprecating Shakespearian professor and friend to Keith. J.K. Simmons steals all of his scenes as the head of the department who is always lovingly complaining about being outnumbered by his wife and four daughters. Allison Janey is stuck with the role as the prudish professor obsessed with Jane Austen, but thankfully her talent supersedes the generic character.
Having previously worked on TWO WEEKS NOTICE, MUSIC AND LYRICS, and MISS CONGENIALITY, writer/director Marc Lawrence has a knack for these “don’t think too hard” type of movies. Although it may not sound like it, I actually like THE REWRITE the best. THE REWRITE is clever but it’s also a little too simple, which almost negates some of the cleverness. It’s light and fun and is an enjoyable view but a story that Keith himself may not fully respect. Nevertheless, as Keith and his students learn, there is a place for all genre of films and THE REWRITE has a niche that is worthy of some praise.
Video: (MPEG-4 AVC, 1080p 2.39:1) A decent looking picture.
Audio: (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) A nice sound with clear audio.
Deleted Scenes (2:45): Two mildly amusing scenes titled: Guard Gate and Student Screenplays
The Making of The Rewrite (7:47): Typical mesh of brief clips coupled with the actors giving brief explanations of the movies and characters.