Keith Michaels (Grant) is a washed-up British screenwriter who won the Academy Award for Best Screenplay in 1998. Since then, he has divorced and after a few unsuccessful films, cannot sell another screenplay.. He begins teaching a screenwriting course at Binghamton University in upstate New York and has an affair with a student. Though at first he had no intention of actually teaching he finds himself actually good at it. The affair ends badly and he almost loses the job he realized that he likes, and meanwhile he finds he is in love with a single mother with whom he has been friendly (Tomei).
Continuity During the first actual class, Flo Bai (Maggie Geha) is shown seated at the rear of the classroom wearing gold sandals. After the class she is shown leaving the classroom wearing fringed, black ankle boots.
The scene in which Hugh Grant's character watches himself in a video clip on the Internet is the actual acceptance speech given by Hugh Grant in 1995 when he won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical for 'Four Weddings and a Funeral'.
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.
Director Marc Lawrence has worked with Hugh Grant three times previously. This is their fourth film together as director and lead actor.
At the faculty reception, Keith mocks the writings of Jane Austen and literature focused on female empowerment in front of Allison Janney. Hugh Grant appeared in Sense and Sensibility in 1995, which was based on the Jane Austen novel.
When Allison Janney's character says her students think she is like Elinor from Sense and Sensibility and Hugh Grant's character remarks hes familar with that character its probably an in joke because in the 1995 movie Sense and Sensibility he played the love interest of Elinor Dashwood, Edward Ferrars
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