Question: Have you ever plagiarized someone else’s work? What would make anyone do that especially if they wanted to be a writer? Beats me but The Words tried answering that question. Unfortunately, even after seeing the movie I don’t think they made their point very well.
I saw an advanced screening of The Words and I was really looking forward to it, for a couple of reasons. First, Bradley Cooper was starring in it. No, it’s not just because he is attractive (okay, those eyes get me). Honestly, I have been following his career since his appearance on the television show Alias. Since then he’s played a variety of characters from lovable best friend to out-right ass. I’ve seen a lot of his films and even reviewed a couple of his more recent ones, The Hangover Part II and Limitless, and he’s proved to me he can act.
Second, I do like a story about writing but there does seem to be a ton of films about writers, right? Well, writers are the ones who get a film started – they write the screenplay! Anyway, it’s a topic that I find fascinating because I write nearly every day and some days I struggle to get a single word on the page (screen). Most writers can empathize with characters who struggle with their talents. It’s sort of in our nature because we have read so many great writers – who probably inspired us to start writing in the first place. But when it comes to liking your own words us writers tend to be our own worst critics. Nonetheless, rejection from the publication world can take out any shred of self-esteem you possess We’ve all been there.
The Words shows a young writer, Rory Jensen (Bradley Cooper), and how he can’t seem to get his first novel published. But he is determined, as many young novelists are and finds a job within a publishing house. A few years pass and he stumbles upon an old manuscript. His choices after that are at the heart of the film. However, the explanation and storytelling (which there are actually three stories in one) is where it fell flat and didn’t convince of why certain characters acted the way they did. Overall the story felt pushed and predictable. I really started to get bored about halfway through.
The most disappointing part of the movie was Jeremy Irons. Usually his acting seems flawless and effortless. In The Words, however, it appeared disingenuous. In fact, by about a third of the way through the film I felt the whole story was disingenuous. Bradley Cooper was probably the only actor who I felt did a decent job in his role. Other than that this film lost me; and I saw no real point to most of the character’s choices or sometimes even their reason for being in the film. Oh well, hope the next film is better.
My favorite part: Yeah, yeah, it's Bradley Cooper. Although there were some nice set designs/architecture that caught my fancy.
My least favorite part: I know I mentioned not caring for Jeremy Irons but I understood why his character was in the film. However, Olivia Wilde’s character left me scratching my head.
Directed by Brian Klugman & Lee Sternthal, Animus Films, 2012
Written by Brian Klugman & Lee Sternthal
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Jeremy Irons, Olivia Wilde and Dennis Quaid.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Length: 96 minutes
Review: 3 out of 10
*Photo Courtesy of CBS films