The Rewrite (Blu-ray)

April 15, 2015 6 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

It’s been said that romantic comedies, or screwball comedies, might have had their roots back to the 1930’s. With titles like It Happened One Night and Bringing Up Baby paving the way for countless others to follow in their immortal footsteps. Needless to say, the romantic comedy movie has been done and done and done…you get the idea. Still, audiences find it very satisfying when we know that the two leads (usually total opposites) are hopelessly attracted to each other, like Woody Allen and Diane Keaton in Annie Hall and like Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan (who had the market cornered on this particular genre at one time) in When Harry Met Sally. Love is the one thing that most any person on this Earth can relate to and movies about them, comedic or not, are very touching and can get the best of us. With the success of the genre, there’s really no end in sight as people continue to fall in love, even when they don’t know it. Hugh Grant once again teams with director Marc Lawrence and this time Marisa Tomei is the object of his affection. True love?

Grant plays Keith Michaels, an Oscar-winning screenwriter who seemingly can’t replicate the success of his past. Now 15 years have passed. He’s divorced, estranged from his only son and living in LA on the back of a fast-diminishing reputation, all of which unfolds even before the opening credits. The only job his agent can offer him is as a teacher on a screenwriting course at a university in upstate New York — cue lots of gags about the miserable weather on that side of the country, which would work a sight better if Keith wasn’t from England. He begrudgingly accepts the job, where he promptly sleeps with one of his star-struck students, Karen (Bella Heathcote), thus offending the head of the department, Mary Weldon (Allison Janney), who also chairs the university’s ethics committee. So how will Keith stumble upon the path to redemption that even the most clueless student of screenwriting must know awaits him?

Truthfully there’s to a whole lot to dislike about the movie, then again there’s not a whole lot to love about it, either. It’s a perfectly fine, well-acted film with good performances from Grant and Tomei – as expected. The ensemble cast does their part and if you look not so closely you’ll see newly-minted Oscar winner J.K. Simmons in the mix. Allison Janney is again wasted in a forgettable part, but the film is all about the leading pair.  While not quite as predictable as the more formulaic romantic comedies (ie. the ones starring Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey), it’s a fun 107 minutes to watch on a rainy day.

Video: How’s it look?

Shown in a 2.40:1 AVC HD image, The Rewrite does look the part and is certainly consistent with a new to Blu-ray film. The movie has a nice texture to it that at some points is crystal clear and at others shows the slightest bit of grain. This isn’t a bad thing, though, as it really seems to work here.  Colors are bold and brilliant, detail is nice as well.  Contrast and black levels look the part, though a few of the outdoor scenes seem a bit inconsistent. There are a lot of nice aerial and spacial shots that really caught my eye. I don’t know why, but this is a rather avant garde look and feel to a genre that tends to do things by the book. Still, audiences will appreciate the video quality.

Audio: How’s it sound?

A more rudimentary sound mix has been included here and even though the DTS HD Master Audio has a few moments, this is more on par with what this genre is known for, audio-wise.  Vocals are crisp and clear and we can hear every nuance from Grant’s British accent.  Surrounds are ample and add a bit of atmosphere to a few scenes, but the main focus is on the front stage. Nothing too amazing to report here with this audio, it does the job.

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • Deleted Scenes – Two in all, but nothing of substance – or at least that I thought.
  • The Making of The Rewrite – Your standard “Making of…” featurette with some interviews with the cast and crew of the film. Again, nothing mind-blowing here, but it’s a nice little segment that will be watched once.
  • Theatrical Trailer

The Bottom Line

The romantic comedy genre will not go away and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Hugh Grant is just charming enough to pull this off and his two other collaborations with Marc Lawrence (Two Weeks Notice and Music and Lyrics) are a bit superior. Still, it’s nice to see Marisa Tomei in, well, anything and the disc itself delivers decent A/V quality. You could do a lot worse.

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