Film Review: Deadly Dull ‘The Words’ Has Nothing to Say
CHICAGO – It may seem like easy bait for a critic but the quote whores supplied a dozen or so words for the mysterious ads for the new drama “The Words” and so I’d like to play their little game. I have a few words of my own – “Dull.” “Inert.” “Pretentious.” “Uninteresting.” “Inconsistent.” “Craptastic.” Put those on your ad.
“The Words” is fifteen minutes of movie stretched out to a 96-minute running time that feels twice as long. It is cinematic Ambien, the kind of limp affair that mistakes overheated dialogue for character or action. I was relatively with this drama for a good hour, critically peeved by a few elements that I’ll get to later but forgiving because of where it might have been going. It goes nowhere other than to take a left turn from disappointment into total mess in the final thirty minutes which are so pretentiously weighed down with false drama and ambiguous character motivations that I just wanted someone to get hit by a truck.
|Read Brian Tallerico’s full review of “The Words” in our reviews section.|
Brian Klugman & Lee Sternthal (who co-wrote and co-directed) tell a story within a story (that even goes a deeper level to another story at one point…it’s like “Inception” for literary dullards.) Clay Hammond (Dennis Quaid) is a successful author who is reading passages from his latest novel to a rapt audience that includes the flirtatious Daniella (Olivia Wilde). The story he tells is that of Rory Jansen (Bradley Cooper) and his lovely wife Dora (Zoe Saldana). Rory wants to be a writer. In typical Hollywood fashion, this means a lot of emotional outbursts about what he’s supposed to do with his life and little actual writing.
Rory faces rejection from publishers, dismissal by his father (J.K. Simmons), and begins to think that he may have to give up on his dream (after two whole years of really working it, which produced the only laugh in the entire film from this writer…anyone who thinks they can have their dreams come true after two years is a petulant child). As Rory whines, walks out of dinners, and generally bemoans the fact that he may not watch his dreams comes true, he stumbles upon a manuscript in a French briefcase and his life is forever changed. The stories within that case are mesmerizing. And Rory decides to take them as his own. Then their original author (Jeremy Irons) shows up.
Photo credit: CBS Films