By Lory Martinez
This past Sunday (Feb. 8), Binghamton University hosted the official U.S. premiere of The Rewrite, a film written and directed by BU graduate Marc Lawrence. The lighthearted romantic comedy, starring Hugh Grant and Marisa Tomei, is set in Binghamton, not the ever-popular New York City, thus putting our college town on the map for movie goers. Location filming occurred in 2013 in Broome County.
In the days leading up to the Anderson Center screening, there was what can only be called a lot of hullabaloo on campus. Bearcat Pride was everywhere. Complimentary tickets, which were given out a week in advance, were gone within minutes.
The Rewrite tells the story of a washed-up screenwriter who gets a teaching job at BU and falls for a single-mom student. It’s light-hearted and witty and has just the right amount of love-story-meets-inner-spiritual-development to be a perfect romantic comedy, but it’s much more than that.
As I sat in the audience, I realized I was part of something that few people have the opportunity to experience: to see a much beloved place being recognized on the big screen. The applause and the laughter that came when Grant’s character, Keith Michaels, tries a spiedie for the first time was unique to a an audience that has a special connection to that Binghamton food. When Grant walks through Rec Park and spends some time at the carousel with Tomei talking about Rod Serling, we smiled in recognition of the great things about our town.
Lawrence loves his alma mater, and though the school has changed quite a bit since he graduated, he has kept his appreciation for Binghamton alive and well. One sees another love story behind the scenes: one of a kid who grew to love a town and remembered to write a love letter to it, thanking it for its rainy days as well as its sunny ones.
The Rewrite opened in England last fall and, in Europe, is already out on Blu-ray/DVD and can be purchased through Amazon. By Friday (Feb. 13), The Rewrite will be released in select U.S. theaters and will be available as video-on-demand and to stream on Itunes. The American release of the Blu-ray/DVD is set for the end of March. Binghamton-area fans are still hoping the movie will be shown at a local theater.