‘The Words’ rather uninspiring
Published: Monday, September 10, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 10, 2012 23:09
After seeing the trailer for “The Words,” I was very excited about this film. What I didn’t know is that everything you need to know about it is all in the trailer. In it, we see a struggling writer (Bradley Cooper) get rich from a bestseller he stole. The struggling writer then meets an old man (Jeremy Irons), who claims the book was his. Wondering what comes next? Nothing. That is pretty much the whole story. Then it ends. However, it does get a bit more complicated. As it turns out, this whole story is a novel written by another writer (Dennis Quaid). We see the story as he narrates. You probably guessed that these writers’ stories are somehow related. Or are they? The film tries to create a mystery for the viewer to solve, but we are never given a single clue to guide us in any direction. Believe me, I was looking the whole time. The film fails at its attempt to build up to a larger point.
At the end, I am left wondering one thing: which was worse, the writing or the acting? Let’s review. We know almost nothing important about any of the characters. Olivia Wilde comes off as a mysterious young woman with a motive. Ultimately, she has no motive. Did the writers and directors miss something they went for, or did she play the part wrong? Bradley Cooper walked through his role as if Dennis Quaid was only half-interested in reading his story to us. Maybe he was bored, too. Jeremy Irons did an outstanding job as the angry old man, but the writers gave both him and the audience no way of exploring this character. We meet several other characters throughout the film, some of which are well-acted. They’re somewhat developed, but never reappear, and we are left wondering why, with a film 96 minutes long, it seems as if we’re missing half the story.
It may sound like this film went right over my head, but it didn’t. I think I went over the film’s head. It is both complete and incomplete. As a film, it tells a boring short story. However, it doesn’t even know what that story is. There is too much and not enough going on for anyone to take anything substantial away from it. Maybe the writers stole this story and never understood it, either. Yeah, that’s it.