"Romantic Christian Whimsy"
What You Need To Know:
Cleverly conceived, with witty dialogue, REWRITE suffers from fuzzy story focus, low production values and some overacting. However, the movie’s surprise, triumphant romantic conclusion caps an entertaining, whimsical ride into a quirky, interesting world. Lance’s redemption arises organically out of his character and, hence, is both believable and inspiring. Thus, REWRITE’s strongest attribute is the strong message of redemption and salvation in Jesus Christ that it communicates. Thus, despite its problems, REWRITE delivers an engaging story that will keep many viewers glued to their seats. Phil Snyder’s work in creating REWRITE promises future cinematic achievements.
(CCC, BBB, Ho, L, VV, S, A, D) Strong Christian worldview with many moral elements and revelation of past child abuse by a male relative; two profanities, one rebuked; attempted suicide, woman threatens man with knife, woman’s implied death by auto accident, woman threatens church group with gun, woman shoots man with gun, police officers shoot woman; revelation of past child abuse by a relative and married man pursues another woman and has a friend who’s a porn star, but movie resolves their stories with a Christian ending; alcohol and smoking; and, lying, adultery and theme of suicide.
In his first feature-length romantic comedy, Director-Producer-Writer Phil Snyder makes a yeoman effort at creating a whimsical ensemble dramatic comedy. Although REWRITE suffers from fuzzy story focus, low production values, and some overacting, the movie succeeds in its overall thrust, and contains sufficient dramatic elements to qualify as a romantic drama. Phil’s work in producing REWRITE promises great future cinematic attainments.
REWRITE begins as small-time Hollywood playwright, Darrell Winslow (Phil Snyder), and wife, Debbie (Noriko Moser), fight in their apartment in metro Los Angeles. Debbie threatens Darrell with the knife she uses to cut up the manuscript of his play. Injured with a cut to his wrist, Darrell escapes to his reprobate porn movie star friend, Lance Stallion’s (John Rydgren’s), apartment, where he tries to figure out what to do.
At first showing little sympathy for his friend, Lance ends up exhorting Darrell to leave Debbie, and to finish staging his play, MORTUARY MURDERS. In so doing, Lance incurs the wrath of his girlfriend, Eva Marie (Janice Kovacek), who leaves in a huff. Meanwhile, Darrell brings on deeper romantic entanglements as he performs for his agent, costume-store manager, Celeste (Karen Snyder), and then falls in love with a pastor’s daughter, Cristina (Georgina Tanefski), whom he meets at a children’s party where he impersonates Minnie Mouse in a slapstick episode with much greater comic potential than the movie exploited.
Back to Lance. In the movie’s strong subplot, reprobate pastor’s kid, Lance Stallion, undergoes a personal catharsis as he meets a young starlet, then causes her death in a foolish, impulsive run across a street. Conscious-stricken, he motorcycles to the famous Hollywood sign, as a montage of images of the late girl and her angry parents unfurl in the background. On the sign, he perches on top of the huge letter “L”, and dialogues with God before he plans to jump to his death. In a surprisingly good monologue, he reveals his uncle’s childhood molestation and defies God to save him.
Simultaneously, in one of the movie’s most effective, and spiritually enlightening sequences, Cristina remembers Lance from a childhood incident on the street during which he saved her from a mugger. She asks her doting pastor father to pray for Lance. Lance returns to his apartment, where he informs a skeptical Darrell that he has met God. Lance’s story almost overshadows Darrell’s character arc in REWRITE and constitutes the movie’s strongest subplot.
Meanwhile, Darrell admits to Celeste that he is a lying, conniving, jerk who schemes to change the plot of his play in order to impress Cristina, the new woman he’s just met. He says he intends to present himself to her as a pastor, because he wants to marry Cristina in order to gain her purity of spirit. Consequently, in a real church building, but with a congregation of actors, he tries to stage a fake miraculous raising of a drugged-out Lance, but only succeeds in making a fool of himself in front of his friends, who know of his subterfuge ahead of time. At the movie’s climax, Debbie enters the church to threaten all actor-churchgoers with a gun as she seeks vengeance on Darrell. The movie concludes with emotionally satisfying resolutions, and no less than two happy marriages.
REWRITE represents the first effort of a new budding Christian writer-director-producer, and, as such, it deserves the church’s attention and support. It is a cleverly conceived, sprightly written, whimsical dramatic comedy, with elements of bitter irony and Christian salvation. The character arcs of the film’s two main protagonists interweave drama with comedy and end in emotionally satisfying conclusions.
REWRITE’s strongest attribute is the strong message of redemption and salvation in Jesus Christ, which the movie communicates through Lance’s character arc. Moreover, the redemption arises organically through the vicissitudes of life which assault his soul. Thus, it is both believable and inspiring.
The acting in REWRITE might be the movie’s weakest point, as some characters seem to play their parts for the theater, and not for film, where subtle facial expressions communicate sufficiently.
Nevertheless, REWRITE succeeds dramatically, and delivers a whimsical and engaging story which will keep the audience glued to their seats, and inspired at the same time. Look for Phil Snyder to produce great future cinematic attainments.