Dave White
The Words Review

Dave's Rating:


Words fail...

There's no way you're sitting through this thing but here's what you need to know for the end-of-term true/false test...


Dennis Quaid is a famous writer whose new book, The Words, is about a struggling novelist (Bradley Cooper) who finds a long-lost manuscript, passes it off as his own, gets it published, watches it climb to the top of the best-seller list, makes a lot of money and becomes known as (no joke) "the finest storyteller of his generation." Quaid reads from The Wordsfor an audience, which in turn becomes hilariously simple-minded narration for the Cooper storyline. Book-groupie/stalker Olivia Wilde listens to Quaid with seductive intent. Revelations commence, both literal and literary. Is it all about Cooper? Is it all about Quaid? Does it matter? Nope.

Study Guide Questions:

1. Literary dramas about literary people are at their best when completely divorced from the realities of writing for a living.

Answer - TRUE. Nobody wants to see a movie where the writer who doesn't look like Bradley Cooper just has to keep on paying his dues and work a day job and wind-up self-publishing a book that sells fewer than a thousand copies.

2. Famous authors always wear fancy suits while reading from their books. Their audiences are similarly attired. These events take place in sleek, architecturally-progressive auditoriums.

Answer - TRUE. Audience members are never covered in cat hair or hauling around tote bags stuffed with crumpled papers and gratitude journals. Authors never dress like unmade beds. The readings are never in the stuffy back end of a bookstore near the public restrooms.

3. Regarding plagiarism, Morrissey rightly says, "There's always someone, somewhere, with a big nose who knows..."

Answer - FALSE. In this movie that someone is Jeremy Irons in old(er) age makeup and though he does, in fact, have secret knowledge, the very act of telling a third boring story of his own about how the second boring Bradley Cooper story came to take place so that Dennis Quaid could ultimately write the overarching first boring story, thereby pulling groupie/stalker Olivia Wilde, causes that secret knowledge to become irrelevant, like all knowledge in these times. (Wilde's best nonsense line: "I'm young, spoiled, impetuous and American; humor me.")

4. Groupies/stalkers all look like Olivia Wilde.

Answer - TRUE. They never look like that lady in Catfish.

5. When you're a novelist facing charges of literary plagiarism by the very person whose life was ruined by the loss of their own work, it's perfectly acceptable to be really sorry, make a sad face and act like it's just one of those little lapses in ethical judgment everybody's guilty of, like when a waitress doesn't report tips to the IRS.

Answer - TRUE. That person whose book you ransacked will let you go about your business and your endlessly understanding wife, Zoe Saldana, will comfort you by rubbing your head and telling you everything's going to be okay. Unhappy endings are for books.


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