Hugh Grant returns to form with the charming, witty, 'The Rewrite'.
It seemed like a reasonable idea to Reteam Hugh Grant and Marc Lawrence, who worked so successfully together on Two Weeks' Notice and Music & Lyrics. Their latest collaboration, The Rewrite, follows similar tropes explored in the Drew Barrymore movie and for the most part, it works really well.
Hugh Grant in 'The Rewrite'
Grant plays screenwriter Keith Michaels, a Golden Globe winner with a hit movie to is name, a beautiful wife and, of course, an inexhaustible supply of charm. However, fast-forward fifteen years and Keith is divorced, broke and hasn't written a hit movie in years. When his agent lands him a job teaching screenwriting in a sleepy town in Binghampton, Keith dedicates more time to writing his new script, before meeting a single mum working two jobs to earn her degree.
Continue reading: 'The Rewrite': Hurray, Hugh Grant is Still Funny
Keith Michaels once had it all; recognition and money from an award-winning screenplay and an attractive wife to share it with. However, now he's nearing middle-age and he no longer seems to have any of it. Sure, his famed movie is still a hit, but he's struggling to find any more work and now that he's sadly divorced, the only support he has is from his agent. Desperate to make ends meet, the agent offers him last resort; there's a teaching post vacancy at a small town university in Binghamton, available to teachers in screenwriting. With a Golden Globe hit under his belt, he's a sure-fire candidate for the job - but it's the last thing he wants to do. However, he soon finds the silver lining in that a string of attractive young students have applied to enrol on his course and he uses the opportunity to revel amongst young women, while doing as little work as possible. When he meets mature student Holly though, he's inspired to turn his spiralling life back around.
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In Music and Lyrics, Grant's playing Alex Fletcher, former frontman of a hilariously '80s band called Pop and current contented has-been. While living exclusively in the land of former glory does allow Alex to wallow in adoration without really having to do anything whatsoever, his bottom-of-the-barrel tour dates are drying up and the money is running out. He gets the chance to revive his career when a vapid pop superstar gives him four days to write her a hit song.
Continue reading: Music and Lyrics Review
But Two Weeks Notice has appeal beyond being a Sandra Bullock vehicle or a standard romantic comedy. Although Bullock does have her routine primped and polished, Two Weeks Notice benefits from more: a snappy, likable script by writer/director Marc Lawrence (writer of Forces of Nature and Miss Congeniality) and a witty, near-flawless performance by Hugh Grant.
Continue reading: Two Weeks Notice Review
It starts off bad enough. As the credits announce the four writer/directors (Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell, Robert Rodriguez, and Quentin Tarantino), a cartoon sequence plays over them, in the tradition of cinematic masterpieces like Mannequin. This sets the stage: New Year's Eve at Hollywood's Mon Signor Hotel and only one bellhop (Tim Roth), and believe me, it's a rillyrilly wacky place. The film then launches into the first of four 30ish-minute shorts, one by each director.
Continue reading: Four Rooms Review
It's not surprising to see Bullock revisit frumpy FBI field agent Gracie Hart, though it is surprising it took her this long. Hart remains the ideal fit for Bullock's blend of cover-girl beauty and tomboy charms. Like Hart, Bullock frequently puts up a tough veneer that hides a vulnerable core that's worth exploring.
Continue reading: Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous Review
Jungle is one of Hayden's finest hours, earnest and searing as he finds himself wrapped up in the perfect crime -- a jewel heist which is (unfortunately) a rather simple safecracking affair. This time out, Hayden's desperate gambling addict looks about ready to do anything in order to get back to the pastoral farm where he grew up -- and we believe it.
Continue reading: The Asphalt Jungle Review
Miss Congeniality starts out with Gracie as a New Jersey kid kicking ass on the playground and getting the obligatory "ugly duckling" bit when she slugs a guy to protect a potential boyfriend -- only to be shunned because she was too tomboyish. Of course, the ugly duckling grows up to be an adult tomboy (though a dead sexy one at that). The portrayal is stereotypical: frumpy hair, two dates to her name, a punching bag, and a penchant for pints of Ben and Jerry's. To her credit, Sandra Bullock pulls off the deal pretty well, but how she can live with herself after playing such an odious role is beyond me. (She gets paid a lot of money, that's how. -Ed.)
Continue reading: Miss Congeniality Review
Surprisingly, my fears about sitting through Forces of Nature were unfounded and alleviated pretty quickly. Forces of Nature is basically Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, except that John Candy has been replaced with Sandra Bullock, Steve Martin is now Ben Affleck on his way to get married, and instead of hating his travelling companion, Ben is falling in love with her. With a set-up like this, you have to be especially worried, because Hollywood thrives on taking totally unrealistic premises and turning them into trite, sentimental, and naive romantic comedies with unrealistic happy endings. The reason this romantic comedy is pulled off, despite such an unrealistic premise though, is that the plot is actually somewhat darker an more honest than that of you typical popcorn movie. Additionally, the more unrealistic moments are played for laughs and not tears.
Continue reading: Forces of Nature Review