Grant’s washed-up screenwriter is a familiar but less charismatic version of his over-the-hill musician in Lawrence’s Music and Lyrics. The Rewrite suffers by comparison; there’s nothing to rival the chemistry between Grant and Drew Barrymore. However, the lesser prominence of a romance plot is a refreshing touch, and Lawrence’s peppering of literary and movie references boosts entertainment value.
The big names are well-cast, at least on paper. JK Simmons and Allison Janney play to type in watered-down but nonetheless enjoyable performances of roles they’ve played before, leaving plenty of room for young talents Heathcote and Kaplan to be noticed.
Lawrence surely incorporates at least a shred of autobiography into his fourth collaboration with Grant, which recovers old ground and showcases more of the writer-director’s witty humour. One for the fans.
CAST: Hugh Grant, Marisa Tomei, JK Simmons, Allison Janney, Bella Heathcote, Steven Kaplan
DIRECTOR: Marc Lawrence
WRITER: Marc Lawrence
SYNOPSIS: An award-winning screenwriter (Grant) takes a teaching job at a New York state college as his chosen career dwindles.