Castle Rock Entertainment, Resnick Interactive Development,

Hugh Grant, Marisa Tomei, Bella Heathcote, J.K. Simmons, Chris Elliot, Allison Janney

Keith Michaels (Hugh Grant) was a famous screenwriter who is really down on his luck. His last few movies have bombed, and he can’t find work anywhere. Perhaps this is due to his wife running off with the producer of his hit movie, and taking their son with her, and the excessive drinking that followed. Now as hard as Keith’s agent tries, she can’t find anything for him, until an opportunity to teach writing at a small Northeastern college gives him a chance to to make a few bucks. Keith decides to take it easy, packs his class with really hot girls and a few really ugly guys, starts right off with an affair with the prettiest of his students, and gives the class a month off on the first day. But a single Mom of two girls, Holly Carpenter (Marisa Tomei) trusts him and builds a relationship and guides him to some serious introspection until he can realize that there’s more to his life than the thought. But by the time he figures it out, it’s far too late.

This is a decent Hugh Grant movie about a guy who’s enjoyed success, and lost it, but is a bit of an asshole looking down on the people doing the job he is forced to do by his own screw-ups. This is a really common situation, and the formula is that the guy needs to be cut down a few pegs, and then learn the error of his ways. Well this film really follows that formula to the T. That’s one of the problems as to why it was not a break out success a couple years ago when this came out. What does make this stand out as a video rental or cable movie is the excellent acting throughout. Hugh Grant is as good as we would expect, and this is the kind of role he’s well suited for. But the characters around him are the ones that really make the movie stand out. It’s all in the casting in this case. J.K. Simmons plays the department head who is stuck in a house with five women, his wife and four daughters. The way he plays the love/hate of this awful situation is genius. Allison Janney, on the other hand, is on the ethics committee, a strong harsh woman who is a militant feminist and a bit of a literary snob, who is Grant’s chief protagonist. She is excellent in this role. Meanwhile, the other students and teachers are also well done. Marissa Tomei is really good as the Jiminy Cricket conscience character, and the lovable next door neighbor/co-teacher is very well played by Chris Elliott as well. With a gang like this, it makes it a really interesting adventure made out of a very common formula. I enjoyed this little movie, and the fact that it is like a whole bunch of other movies really didn’t bother me due to the quality of the cast. Though not a very original film, it was worth the wait and this was an enjoyable movie. Give it a shot.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



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