Movie Review: The Words

Movie Review: The Words

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I saw The Words with a friend last night–one who is a book lover like me. We both emerged from the theater in complete awe. Though the critical reviews for it are low, we loved it.  It was beautiful, emotional, and (we thought) the story was engrossing.

It’s like Inception about books.  It is a story within a story within a story. Dennis Quaid’s character has written a book, whose protagonist is Bradley Cooper’s character, who publishes a book using someone else’s writing (plagiarism…BIG no-no). This someone eventually comes on the scene and informs Rory (BC) that the book that made him famous was actually a true story. Someone complained that this is confusing. It’s not. Everyone watched Inception no problem. This is easier to understand. People just don’t like that it’s about books.

But for us, this fascinating community of people united by the written word, it’s a gem.  The movie is about the power of words and how they affect us–how they can make us rejoice, or fear, or cry, or love.  How when we write them, they are ours, and we don’t want anyone taking them from us.  This power is something that we know as well as we know our best friend.  It’s why we love books so much.  The whole time I watched I thought, “Yes! Finally! Something for us! And about us!”

The story was, as I said, engaging and emotional. There are two different romantic couples, and their love stories we enough to make me green with envy! Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana were great together! Ben Barnes and his French lover were also beautiful.  And then, when the inevitable conflict enters the story to strain their relationships, I had tears threatening to spill the whole time.  The gorgeous music, I feel, contributed to a lot of this, as did my susceptibility to romantic plot lines.  All that fell flat, I thought, were the last five minutes. I could have lived without them. Other than that, it was spot-on.

I think that it is a film that book lovers will love and appreciate as much as my friend and I did.  We understand, a little better than the rest of the world, how powerful a bunch of letters strung together can be.  You can read or write something that changes you, your world, and the world at large.  Definitely a must-see for book people!


Aren’t they disgusting(ly cute)?

3 thoughts on “Movie Review: The Words

  1. I hashed out my gripes with The Words a week or so ago and came to a similar, but less inviting conclusion. I was overwhelmed with Dennis Quaid’s lack of emotion in anything he was doing up until the last 15 minutes of the film. I couldn’t believe a Hollywood power-player like that could just phone in a performance.

    BC I just can’t take seriously in a role like this. The only time he was believable was when he was drunk and funny. He just can’t make me care about him as a starving writer trying to get published.

    Aside from the acting, there were some pretty significant dropped points in the plot. If we’re supposed to empathize with this guy going through hell trying to get himself published, why would you send him to PARIS on his honeymoon? That totally blew it for me. If you’re broke, you don’t go to Paris for your honeymoon. You go to upstate New York or something like that. A nice quiet vacation that isn’t going to cost as much as a trip to Europe.

    The young man and Celia were the best performances of the entire film. I felt every single emotion they went through. I laughed when they laughed, I was sad when they were sad, and I nearly cried when they cried. It was a POWERFUL performance I wish we’d seen out of our leading guy.

    Jeremy Irons was wonderful as well. Delivery was perfect and his gritty voice is always welcome in any film. :)

    1. I was hoping this post would generate some discussion. Thank you for commenting! I have to confess, I was a little baffled by their decision to send them to Paris as well. He has a job, but surely a position in the mail room was not well-paying enough to fly them to Paris! I understand the link between their trip and the events of the book he eventually publishes, but really? There were definitely flaws, and it was really choppy, but I still thought it was very stirring.

      Dennis Quaid was icky. Like, seriously? The close-ups on his face grossed me out. And a pretty girl like Olivia Wilde going for him? No way. BC I liked in the role, but I feel like he constantly plays the same character: a guy who is always screwing up and trying to make recompense for his mistakes. He needs to branch out a little, it’s true. Zoe certainly carried his part, I thought. Without her he would have been nothing!

      And I agree with you about Jeremy Irons, although I was really annoyed by his white hair/grey beard combinations! And his voice. Wow. It’s like chocolate covered rocks being swept along in a river. Haha! Stupid analogy, but that’s the best way I can think to describe it!

      Still…books! 😀

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