Too Many Words
September 19, 2012 by Michael Harrison
The Words fails to deliver on the expectations of the audience.
Writing can be one of the hardest things anyone can ever attempt to do, and this holds especially true for the star of The Words, Rory Jansen (Bradley Cooper, Hit and Run).
Whether it’s a book, essay, or even a review, writing can sometimes just be a struggle. The worst of it is when someone’s writing isn’t what he or she wants it to be. This is essentially where Jansen finds himself at the beginning of the movie.
Despite the fact that he has been writing books for three years, no one will accept his work. After honeymooning in Paris with his new wife Dora (Zoe Saldana, Takers), Jansen finds a manuscript in the bag his wife bought for him on the trip. This manuscript tells a tale of great romance and sadness. Being in the desperate state that he is in, he completely retypes this work of art word for word, and passes it off as his own.
The first third of The Words has a very interesting setup, which made me excited for the rest of the movie. Sadly, once Jansen finally ascends to his throne of writing fame, the movie begins to steadily drag to a slow and boring stop. Being a writer myself, I really connected with and pitied Jansen when he was struggling. I couldn’t wait to see what would happen when the real author found out that this young man stole his work. I thought of things such as blackmail, revenge, and guilt eating away at the young Jansen’s soul. The true writer of the book, known only as The Old Man (Jeremy Irons, The Borgias (TV series) in this story, had none of these three things in mind.
I won’t spoil what The Old Man does, but this is when the movie takes a dramatic turn for the worse. See, the way The Words plot is told is through an Inception like story within a story within story. Another writer, Clay Hammond (Dennis Quaid, What to Expect When You’re Expecting), is reading his own book about Jansen’s story to a crowd of people. This story is probably the least interesting, and isn’t even really worth mentioning. The other stories in the movie eventually devolve into uninteresting, romantic melodramas.
Cooper and Saldana both give pretty great performances, but the story just became so boring that it lost my interest. At the beginning of the movie, I really felt for the couple, and hoped for their success. Cooper has proven that he can be a comedic actor, as well as a dramatic one, and he didn’t disappoint. Both Quaid and Irons serve as good narrators for the stories being told, but their actual stories are boring, as well.
I really don’t have much more to say about this movie. It’s not an atrocious affair, but it’s not a good movie, either. The setup was very cool and had tons of potential, but then the rest of the movie lacked originality. I really wanted to like this movie while watching it, but I just couldn’t. Don’t let this hinder your enthusiasm for the movie, but save a trip to the theater and check it out when it comes to DVD.