If you've ever seen a Hugh Grant romcom, you'll have an idea of what to expect of The Rewrite: awkward British man bumbles around, makes inappropriate romantic decision, examines life, happy ending.
Grant plays Keith Michaels, an Oscar-winning screenwriter who hasn't had a hit in years. Split from his wife and almost broke, he takes the only job his agent offers: teaching screenwriting at a university in a quiet American town. He starts upsetting people as soon as he arrives, and plans to do as little work as possible.
Perhaps ironically, the script is not particularly clever, and Grant's "cheeky" routine gets less effective the older he gets. He's bad; the schtick is just a bit tired. The supporting cast definitely helps: the university dean (JK Simmons), Keith's next-door neighbour Jim (Chris Elliot) and the ethics committee head (Allison Janney) are great.
But Marisa Tomei steals the show as Holly, a mature student who calls Keith out on his attitude and whose passion for film reminds us of the incredible effect the arts have on our emotions.
This won't convert indie-flick lovers, but it's a sweet romcom that's perfect on a grey day.