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Film / The Rewrite

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The Rewrite is a 2014 romantic comedy by Marc Lawrence.

Keith Michaels (Hugh Grant) is an out-of-luck and almost out-of-money screenwriter in Hollywood. Having won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in The '90s, every screenplay he's written since has resulted in flops, he has trouble keeping with the times and bills are getting unpaid. When his agent manages to land him a job teaching screenwriting at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York, he sees it as an opportunity to skate by, do very little actual teaching and instead spend his time seducing female co-eds and working on his big comeback screenplay. As time goes by, however, he starts to warm up to his teaching job, gets invested in the students' work and befriends Holly Carpenter (Marisa Tomei), a single mother who takes his class while holding down two jobs.

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Includes a supporting cast of J. K. Simmons, Allison Janney and Chris Elliott.

Tropes

  • Cool Teacher: Keith gradually evolves into this.
  • Daddy Issues: Karen clearly suffers from this, as indicated by her affair with Keith and the thinly disguised stand-in for her father in her screenplay.
  • Goth: Sara, one of Keith's students. She shows a love of dark and violent movies and this is reflected in what we hear of her screenplay.
  • Henpecked Husband: Played with. Dr. Lerner is set up as this, being married and having four daughters who make him do things he doesn't always want to, like watch chick flicks and eating healthy, but at the same time it's shown that he loves them so much and knows they love him, he can't talk about them for more than a few seconds before being moved to Tears of Joy.
  • Her Code Name Was "Mary Sue": Karen's screenplay featuring a saintlike (and, according to Keith, really bland) main character obviously based on herself, and a narcissistic, adultering father based on her own father.
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  • Hot for Teacher: Throughout the movie, Keith has a sexual relationship with Karen, a student from his class.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: When Keith is revealed to have been having an affair with Karen and Professor Weldon wants him to resign, Dr. Lerner and Keith admit that, while Weldon can be snobbish, uptight and elitist, they do agree with her.
  • Manly Tears / Tears of Joy: Dr. Lerner, whenever he starts talking about his family.
  • Misaimed Fandom: invoked In-Universe. Karen's script includes a despicable father character she clearly wants to be hated. Unfortunately for her, when Keith reads the draft, he absolutely loves the character for being so incredibly unlikable and for being the most fleshed out character in the story.
  • One-Hit Wonder: Keith with Paradise Misplaced.
  • Papa Wolf: When Keith risks getting fired after his affair with Karen is revealed to the faculty, Dr. Lerner admits that if he had been sleeping with one of his daughters, he would probably have shot him.
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  • Serial Numbers Filed Off: invoked Billy, a devoted Star Wars fan in Keith's class, tries to write a script that's obviously a ripoff of one or more Star Wars movies, including a wise alien named "Zoda".
  • So My Kids Can Watch: Of a sort; Keith reveals to the class that the screenplay that won him his Oscar, Paradise Misplaced, began as a fairy tale he made up for his son, Alex, after a relative died and he had trouble sleeping. As he kept telling it night after night, Alex had more and more questions about the story, so it kept evolving and expanding until eventually he turned it into enough of a story to fill a screenplay.
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