places to go, people to meet
“The Words” is a story about a writer( Clay played by Dennis Quaid) telling a story about a writer (Rory played by Bradley Cooper) who claimed a story as his own from another writer. (Jeremy Irons as The Old Man and Ben Barnes as The Young Man). It is not at all as complicated as it may sound as the screenwriters, Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal, both also directed, make the period changes, and which writer is center stage, basic and easy to understand.
I am a sucker for a love story and the original story stolen is a love story (between The Young Man and Celia, played by Nora Amezeder) of the old fashioned Hollywood kind and the one that involves the audience most of all. Another love story between Rory and Dora (Zoe Saldana) is more modern and less touching. We can’t leave Clay out so Daniella (Olivia Wilde) is brought in for a reason so flimsy that it adds nothing to the picture. The love story that moves you takes place in the 1940s in Paris and is full of cliches but the audience falls for it just as it is easy to believe the book became a bestseller.
The big news in the publishing world during the last decade have been about plagiarism or exaggerating an author’s story and “The Words” tries to be deep by asking can a man steal someone’s work and live with themselves? Another question in the movie is it about Clay’s life but one really doesn’t care that much about the answer.
The acting by Irons, Quaid and Saldana lifts each scene they are in and the acting between Barnes and Arnezeder takes their love story to the main involvement of the movie. Ron Rifkin, Michael McKean and J. K. Simmons, along with most of the supporting cast, add a gloss that only professionals can bring to the screen. Both the screenplay and the directors don’t help Olivia Wilde and of the men Cooper gives the least interesting performance of the primary roles.
“The Words” is a good love story but fails to present the dilemma of a plagiarist or a writer whether the latter is a good or bad one.
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