Marisa Tomei & Hugh Grant Star In The Anti-Fifty Shades Valentine's Day Romance

Photo: Greg Allen/REX USA.
Looking for a movie to see this weekend that's sweet and romantic but 100% lacking in whips, chains, and dominant/submissive contracts? Have we got news for you: There's a new rom-com called The Rewrite hitting theaters and VOD that's right up your alley. What it lacks in red rooms of pain, surly billionaires with singular interests, and sex paperwork, it more than makes up for in Hugh Grant's charm and Marisa Tomei's quirky sass. 

The Rewrite is a breezy and surprisingly touching flick. Hugh Grant plays Keith Michaels, a one-time Oscar-winning Hollywood screenwriter who now can't even get gigs rewriting the next Scary Movie. He's divorced, in debt, and hasn't spoken to his son in over a year. His agent gets him a job teaching at Binghamton University in upstate New York, and you can probably guess what happens next.

That's right: The students become the teacher, helping Keith realize that there's more to life than commercial success. He develops a rapport that hints at something deeper in the future with Marisa Tomei's character (a mother of two who's taking Keith's class), and the supporting cast, which includes J.K. Simmons and Allison Janney, adds to the local charm and warm, homey feeling. 

If you liked Music & Lyrics, you'll definitely be into The Rewrite. In case you need some more convincing, let our interview with Marisa Tomei further sell you on the magic of Hugh Grant and quaint upstate New York locales. 

How would you describe the film?
"It's about getting in touch with why you chose your artistic profession. I also think it's an easy way to watch Hugh Grant be gorgeous and charming for an hour and a half. That's a good enough reason for me [to see it]."

What's it like acting opposite him?
"Oh my god, it's like being Ginger Rogers for two months. You just get to be with the greatest, most graceful, elegant, masterful partner. [H]e just comes off with so much charm and ease. It's anchored by so much technique and instinct and thoughtfulness. He knows exactly how to torque a word so that it's that much funnier. His timing can't be bought. I just felt like I was falling into the arms of Fred Astaire."
Photo: Courtesy of RLJE/Image Entertainment.
Even though the story is driven by Keith, the film makes so many great points about female-led stories.
"My character is trying to work it out. She's definitely using her writing as therapy and trying to figure out her own life. Marc [Lawrence, the director] is pretty open-minded, and...I think he's appreciative of the artistic pursuits of women and what they have to say and what they're trying to work out as well."

Was it actually filmed in Binghamton?
"[Yes], in the springtime. It was quite beautiful, actually. I had heard lots of stories about how gray it is, but when we got there, we luckily got the spring moment. Who doesn’t want to spend the spring in Binghamton and ride the carousel again and again?"

What are some of your favorite Hugh Grant movies?
"Gosh, well, Love Actually, Bridget Jones' Diary, and Four Weddings and a Funeral. He's amazing. He's so smart, and I think that's also what makes him so funny. Oh, and Notting Hill, which melts me every time. He just melts me."

So, The Rewrite comes out on February 13.
"Right in time for Valentine's Day."

Should people see this instead of Fifty Shades of Grey?
[Laughs.] "You should see both. It's a delicious long weekend."

The Rewrite is in theaters and on VOD today.


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