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“The Words” – Early Review (SO-SO NEGATIVE)

September 6, 2012

“The Words” is a thinking mans piece; it delves into the choices we make as people, and whether or not we can act on those choices honorably or in the end live with them. The movie has it’s moments of narrative depth, but the depth becomes too deep, and “The Words” becomes a victim of it’s own bullshit.

The story is multi-layered romantic drama; beginning with a successful author by the name of Clay Hammond (Dennis Quaid), his new book is about to hit shelves. His story is about a young writer Rory Jansen (Bradley Cooper) who finally achieves long sought literary success after publishing the next great American novel. There’s only one catch…he didn’t write it. As the past comes back to haunt him and his literary star continues to rise, Jansen is forced to confront the steep price that must be paid for stealing another man’s work, and for placing ambition and success above life’s most fundamental three words.

The film jumps back and forth between the ‘real world’ of Clay to the fictitious ‘real world’ of Rory.  A comment is made at the end, where there’s only one of two choices we can accept in our lives; fact or fiction. Look, I can see what the movie was trying to say, and it was trying to be clever, and at times it was, but the movie is so caught up in the meta bullshit between what’s real and what isn’t, it becomes a heavily convoluted tale that the audience will lose interest in. I heard people yawning in the theater, some people where even laugh at unintentional things.

The acting wasn’t too bad, actually the interactions between Cooper & Jeremy Irons were attention grabbing from beginning to end of the scenes. Other than that, there’s not much to rave about here with the cast; Dennis Quaid, Olivia Wilde, Zoe Saldana, J.K. Simmons were wasted talents that were there just to be there. 80% of the films overall narrative are the narrative of someone’s book, it tries to hard to be the ultra-meta mind thinker when it’s major issue is it’s over thinking that cleverness it wants to be. “Stranger than Fiction” is the perfect example about how real life and real life fiction start to blur to a point where it’s accepted by the protagonist.

I like seeing Bradley Cooper branching out in other types of films, he’s a really good actor and for the most part, he has a good eye on the projects he chooses, and I’m sure when the script made it his way he saw something special in it, I’m sure there was something special. But, when you have flat direction, directors in this case, who have no idea how to stretch the narrative to the right length it needs to be, you’re going to have dead air.


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