★★★★ | The Rewrite

I have a confession to make – I’m a sucker for a good old-fashioned rom-com. Cary Grant? Yes please! Doris Day? Just my cup of tea! Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan? I’m in heaven!

Give me star-crossed lovers and a little “will they, won’t they” and I’m a happy bunny.

And this vehicle for Hugh Grant gives you just that. It’s not earth-shattering, it’s not life-changing, it doesn’t answer the meaning of life but it is funny, it is warm and it is actually a good story.

Hugh Grant plays a once successful Hollywood screenwriter, one who seemingly had it all, wife, son, glittering career, wit and charm to boot, but then, as these things will, they fade.

The career stalls, film work dries up, the wife moves on to someone more successful and takes the son with her, and the charm and wit only go so far when your fast approaching fifty and broke.

This is where his wise-cracking agent comes in, offering work at a small college on a screenwriting course, and off Hugh goes.

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A little far fetched, but this is a Hollywood movie, not real life. Stick with it as we watch Hugh go through the ups and downs of campus life, and also through a student or two…

He finds his mojo for writing amongst his students, but learns quickly that the film industry is still as fickle and maybe, just maybe his future lies elsewhere.

Hugh Grant gives his usually good performance, where he basically plays himself, Marisa Tomei plays one of his older students and puts in a solid performance playing her elfin self, and Allison Janney gives a poker face performance as a gargoylesque Jane Austin fanatic faculty member.

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I liked this film a lot, I didn’t love it and here’s why. There was something slightly creepy about a 50-year-old sleeping with students, and at times, you look at Hugh and think, is this it? What else can you do? He is starting to look out of place in this type of film, too old to be running after 18-year-olds.

But until something else comes along, I do still enjoy him in these roles, and can’t wait to see where he goes next as he has mentioned in interviews that he wants to direct – but none of this detracts from this film, I’d see it again, and give it 4 stars!

About the author: Chris Jones
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