A washed up singer is given a couple days to compose a chart-topping hit for an aspiring teen sensation. Though he's never written a decent lyric in his life, he sparks with an offbeat younger woman with a flair for words.
The new season of "American Dreamz," the wildly popular television singing contest, has captured the country's attention, as the competition looks to be between a young Midwestern gal (Moore) and a showtunes-loving young man from Orange County (Golzari). Recently awakened President Staton (Quaid) even wants in on the craze, as he signs up for the potential explosive season finale.
Keith Michaels, an academy award winner for his screenplay for the movie "Paradise Misplaced", now faces the challenge of being rejected in Hollywood. To get a breakthrough he is forced to take the job he most hates, teaching. The assignment is at a college is far from his comforts and could possibly take him to a new life.Written by
Thejus Joseph Jose
Portions of the film were shot in and around Binghamton, NY and the nearby Binghamton University. This is because director Marc Lawrence is a graduate of the university, and has expressed a great love for the school and his experience there. Portions of the film were actually based on his own experience going there. See more »
Professor Watson lists Austen, the Bronte sisters, and Woolf as leading 19th century English women authors. Although Virginia Woolf was born in 1882, her writings are considered 20th century writings and not 19th century. See more »
During the closing credits several additional scenes are shown, including Sara crying while watching the end of "Dirty Dancing" on her computer in a library cubicle and Holly dancing with her daughters in the dance studio. See more »
OK-so it's rather predictable and gets off to a slow start, but I found this indie as it progressed, enhanced by an excellent cast, won me over with its' wit and humor. It reminded me somewhat of the movie "Liberal Arts", from filmmaker Josh Radnor, which I also like quited a lot.
Hugh Grant is in fine form here, portraying Keith Michaels. a once highly successful screenwriter, but whose career is now flagging badly. Out of desperation, he accepts a position, set up by his agent (Caroline Aaron), which will have him teach a screen writing course at Binghampton University, in upstate New York.
Grant plays the fast-talking and glib cynic as well as anyone, and when he arrives in Binghampton, he undergoes the culture shock of feeling he's in the "sticks", and firmly believes all teachers are "losers" and that writing can't be taught anyway. Of course over time, he will see he can really help and care about his students, and will learn some important lessons for himself as well.
He gets exceptional support here from such screen notables as Marisa Tomei, J.K. Simmons, Allison Janney, and Chris Elliott. All of the students add much to the movie as well, with Bella Heathcote leading the way and getting the most screen time.
Overall, this film, ably written and directed by Marc Lawrence, was a pleasant surprise, and I found it quite funny and enjoyable. Even the outtakes, as the credits are rolling, were very humorous.
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