So I was pleased to be given ‘The Re-write’ for my birthday, and last night we watched it with an adult son. Hugh Grant, as our son commented afterwards, always plays similar parts, and this one suits him perfectly. He plays a washed-up British screenwriter in his late forties called Keith, who had one major success some years previously, but is now struggling financially. He is offered a temporary job teaching screenwriting at a small American university, and while he doesn’t think writing can be taught, he sees no alternative…
Keith is rather naive, unsure of what he’s supposed to do in his class, overwhelmed by the seventy scripts he has to read within two days, and nervous about his new role. It’s ideal for the slightly bumbling Englishman that Hugh Grant is used to playing, surrounded by women who evidently find him attractive.
There’s a storyline involving a seductive girl in his class and a pleasanter one involving an older student who has daughters of his own. And there are some gems about writing in general, as well as insights into university life. As Keith gets to know his class, he discovers that teaching isn’t such a bad career after all, and that he can learn to care about each individual and help them in different ways.
Most of the film is predictable, and I don’t recall any particularly humorous sections, but it’s light-hearted and fun, relationship-based rather than with any great plot. I liked the way that, although most of Keith’s students are attractive girls, the two rather unattractive nerdy boys play significant positive parts in his class, and in the story as a whole.
The rating is 12 which I think is right, though it wouldn’t be of much interest to anyone under the age of about sixteen. There are implied intimacies but nothing overt; some bad language, and a great deal of drinking, but no violence.
Recommended for a light and pleasant evening’s undemanding viewing.
Review by Sue F copyright 2016 Sue's DVD Reviews