Sep 8, 2012 / 4:00 pm
I find myself struggling to choose the proper words to describe the movie going experience that is The Words. When the film stopped, not ended, but stopped without any final resolution I immediately thought to myself that, there is 95 minutes of my life that I will never get back. If I had to pick only one word to encapsulate the film as a whole, then that word would be boring.
The Words stars Bradley Cooper as an aspiring young writer named Rory Jansen, who along with his girlfriend Dora (Zoe Saldana) are just trying to make ends meet. Rory just can't catch a break with his writing as he faces rejection at every publishing firm he submits his book to. He begins to doubt his abilities as a writer despite constant reassurance and support from Dora. One day he stumbles upon an old manuscript and after reading it, he decides to copy it word for word and submit it as his own work. Of course it becomes the next great American novel and he achieves his long sought after literary success. Unfortunately for Rory however, the story's actual author (an unnamed old man played by Jeremy Irons) approaches him and questions whether he understands the price that must be paid for stealing another man's story.
You would think that business was about to pick up here and we would get thrust into some sort of conflict or intrigue but sadly the already plodding movie practically grinds to a halt as the old man relays his life story to Rory for the next 20 minutes and nothing interesting happens until the movie just stops.
To make matters even more convoluted than need be, this entire story is being read supposedly as a work of fiction by another writer played by Dennis Quaid, who is at a public reading. There is a subplot involving a literature groupie, played by Olivia Wilde, that goes completely nowhere and if this plot synopsis is confusing at all try watching the movie and you'll see why my brain is cramping just trying to recap this mess of a film.
Directing for the first time, the duo of Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal clearly have the germ of a good story here but they lack the deft touch required to bring any sort of cohesion to it. The film is so static and unengaging and sadly wastes the talents of some fine actors. People like J.K. Simmons, Michael McKean, Ron Rifkin, John Hannah and Zeljko Ivanek are all relegated to small cameos so therefore can't really add anything to the proceedings.
I think the point that the filmmakers are trying to make with The Words is that we all face choices in our lives, and we must be willing to accept the responsibility and consequences of these choices. Wow, how profound! More like uninspired and unoriginal.
I suppose that this film is for the pseudo-intellectual literary types and that would be fine if it weren't so darn bland. It lacks any semblance of entertainment value whatsoever.
Ugh, I just want to forget this one and move on.
I give The Words a 3 out of 10.
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