I was a bit cautious before watching The ewrite. It looked like an ordinary romantic story about a guy that finds redemption even if aware that he needed any at first. A couple of nice actors as Hugh Grant and Marisa Tomei, a small town as scenario.... It looked sweet, but nothing more.
Yes, all those elements were there, no doubt. But one thing changed my preconceived approach here: the main character is a screen writer. According to the imdb.com synopsis, he is in a slump. He only alternative in order not to pay his bills is to accept a teaching position, which he doesn't fancy much at first, but slowly warms up to. You see? We know this plot already. The difference here is all the talking about movies and which stories make sense to us.
The main character tries to creat a standard on his class by choosing a majority of pretty girls for it. Despite his attempts, his class is very diversified, presenting different views about writing, movies, what matters in a story, with diverse perceptions of life and human relations. It is just wonderful, not different at all from what we witness in a class actually.
That an arrogant Oscar-winning writer finds in teaching a way out of his misery life is not surprising. Teaching is in fact amazing. I don't know why exactly, but during my college years, I strongly avoided the teaching classes - there was no way I would become a teacher, I said. The universe has a wicked sense of humour with my tantrums, though. During the masters degree, I realized how fortunate I was to finally enter a class as a teacher, lecturing about the best subjects: cinema, fiction, writing, art. How much we learn and confront ourselves by teaching is amazing. It sounds as a cliche, but for me it was a true one. The truest, actually. Maybe that's why I could understand Grant's character, identifying what was happening to him in the different aspects of his journey. Even if he is in fact unbearably inconvenient at first - but that's just the Hollywood way of proving how big and relevant his transformation is.
This movie doesn't go far in order to explain why the difficult protagonist is able to change his views about teaching and the small town: the people that he met there. After all, that's what life is all about, if you think about it. Another cliche, uh? Well, they must come from somewhere...
I loved the debate around Dirty Dancing. There's the apparent cheery girls that loves the movie, and of course there's the smart girls that refutes the other taste for a romantic story. The plot about Jane Austen is so good too. Both sides of a controversy is complicated, we see. At the end, we shouldn't approach movies and empathy with stories by this kind of prejudice, and this is a subject nicely presented here. People are more than the stereotypes that we judge them by, and stories are so much more than its official classification on the DVD cover.
Another perk in this movie was Hugh Grant's voice-over narration: his voice only conveys a lot of memories of beloved movies, it is incredible, and a true sign that an actor usually carries some of his former roles in every movie he makes, for he has been creating a character of his own. See? Great subjects in a very simple movie.
|The Rewrite. Directed and written by Mark Lawrence. With: Hugh Grant, Marisa|
Tomei, J.K. Simons, Alisson Janney. USA, 2014, 107 min., Dolby Digital, Color (Netflix)