The Rewrite

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The Rewrite
The Rewrite.jpg
British release poster
Directed by Marc Lawrence
Produced by
  • Liz Glotzer
  • Martin Shafer
Written by Marc Lawrence
Music by Clyde Lawrence
Cinematography Jonathan Brown
Edited by Ken Eluto
Distributed by
Release date
Running time
106 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $4.5 million[1]

The Rewrite is a 2014 American romantic comedy film written and directed by Marc Lawrence. It stars Hugh Grant as a washed-up screenwriter who begins teaching at a state university and Marisa Tomei as a single mother with whom the screenwriter finds romance. It began development at Castle Rock Entertainment in October 2012, and filming began in New York in April 2013.

The Rewrite premiered at a gala screening at the Shanghai International Film Festival on June 15, 2014. The theatrical release in the United States was on February 13, 2015.[2]


Keith Michaels (Grant) is a washed-up British screenwriter who won the Academy Award for Best Screenplay in 1998. Since then, he has divorced and, after a few unsuccessful films, cannot sell another screenplay. He begins teaching a screenwriting course at Binghamton University in upstate New York, and goes on a date with a student (Heathcote). Though, at first, he had no intention of actually teaching, he finds himself actually good at it.

The date ends badly and he almost loses the job that he realizes he likes; meanwhile, he finds he is in love with a single mother with whom he has been friendly (Tomei).[3]



The Rewrite is written and directed by Marc Lawrence. The project began development at Castle Rock Entertainment. In October 2012, actor Hugh Grant was cast in the film's starring role. His casting marked the fourth collaboration between Lawrence, Castle Rock, and Grant. Their previous films were Two Weeks Notice, Music and Lyrics, and Did You Hear About the Morgans?[4]

""I love Marc's stuff, and ['The Rewrite'] made me laugh," he said. "[I wasn't interested] in the sort of marketed, Hallmark, 'Valentine's Day' sense — I find that repugnant. Here, the romantic comedy part of it is only a small part; it's about this broken guy who mends himself."[5]

In November 2012, actor Marisa Tomei entered negotiations to star opposite Grant.[6] In the following March, Bella Heathcote joined the cast. Variety reported, "This film would give Heathcote some lighter material after breaking out in serious projects," referring to In Time and Not Fade Away.[7] Later in the month, Allison Janney, J. K. Simmons, and Chris Elliott joined the cast.[8]

Filming began in New York in April 2013.[9]


FilmNation Entertainment handled sales of The Rewrite's distribution in territories outside the United States.[10] The film premiered at a gala screening at the Shanghai International Film Festival on June 15, 2014.[11][12] Distributor Lionsgate scheduled the film to be released in theaters in the United Kingdom on October 8, 2014.[13]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 64%, based on 58 reviews, with an average rating of 6/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The Rewrite's unremarkable plot is enlivened considerably by its likable cast, adding up to a comedy that coasts capably on the charms of Hugh Grant and his co-stars."[14] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, the film has a score 51 out of 100, based on 17 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[15]

The Hollywood Reporter's Elizabeth Kerr said The Rewrite was not groundbreaking as a romantic comedy but that "it is a pleasant diversion for fans of the form". Kerr considered the film an improvement from Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009) and said while it was initially similar to Liberal Arts (2012) with "its aggressive academic and literary tone", it fell back on romantic comedy conventions. She found that Grant "embraces his maturity" as an older version of his typical character but that Tomei's character was "painfully underwritten". Kerr said the supporting characters would have been forgettable if the actors were not so strong.[16]


  1. ^ "The Rewrite (2016)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved October 2, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Binghamton-set movie 'The Rewrite' to screen on campus with star Hugh Grant and director Marc Lawrence". 30 January 2015. Retrieved 10 September 2017. 
  3. ^ "Marc Lawrence's Hugh Grant Comedy heading for production". FilmNation Entertainment. March 27, 2013. Archived from the original on June 19, 2013. Retrieved July 16, 2013. 
  4. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (October 22, 2012). "Hugh Grant to Star in Marc Lawrence's Untitled Romantic Comedy for Castle Rock". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  5. ^ Canfield, David. "Hugh Grant Says He Finds Most Romantic Comedies 'Repugnant' at 'The Rewrite' Premiere - IndieWire". Retrieved 10 September 2017. 
  6. ^ Foreman, Liza (November 21, 2012). "Marisa Tomei Could Get Romantic With Hugh Grant in 'Untitled Marc Lawrence Project'". The Wrap. Retrieved July 16, 2013. 
  7. ^ McNary, Dave (March 7, 2013). "Bella Heathcote Back to School in Laffer". Variety. 
  8. ^ Cox, Gordon (March 27, 2013). "J.K. Simmons, Chris Elliott Join Hugh Grant Comedy". Variety. 
  9. ^ Hanna, Beth (April 17, 2013). "Hugh Grant's Return to Rom-Com, Untitled Marc Lawrence Film, Goes Into Production". Indiewire. Retrieved July 17, 2013. 
  10. ^ McNary, Dave (January 23, 2013). "FilmNation to handle Marc Lawrence comedy". Variety. 
  11. ^ Frater, Patrick (June 4, 2014). "Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Jackie Chan Among Stars Set to Shine at Shanghai Festival". Variety. Retrieved June 16, 2014. 
  12. ^ "The 17th Shanghai International Film Festival – Schedule of Shanghai International Film Festival". Shanghai International Film Festival. Archived from the original on July 23, 2011. Retrieved June 16, 2014. 
  13. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (August 28, 2014). "Watch: First Trailer For Rom-Com 'The Rewrite' Starring Hugh Grant And Marisa Tomei". The Playlist. Indiewire. Retrieved August 30, 2014. 
  14. ^ "The Rewrite (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 29, 2016. 
  15. ^ "The Rewrite reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 2, 2016. 
  16. ^ Kerr, Elizabeth (June 18, 2014). "'The Rewrite': Shanghai Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 19, 2014. 

External links[edit]