October 24, 2014
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The Words
Don Fowler
3 stars
Reviewer's Rating:

(Slow-paced morality movie)

Bradley Cooper stars as Rory Jansen, an insecure, uninspired writer who has seen his share of rejection slips.

His father wants him to "accept his limitations,” but Rory gets a job in a publishing house mailroom to get closer to the editors.

On his honeymoon in Paris, Rory's wife (Zoe Saldana) buys him an old briefcase in an antique store. He discovers an old, unpublished manuscript in a hidden compartment, reads it, and copies it word for word. His boss is blown away, publishes it, and Rory becomes an instant star.

One day an old man (Jeremy Irons) approaches him on a Central Park bench, revealing that he was the author and telling him his life story. We learn about his difficult life as a soldier in Paris and finding and losing his one true love. Rory is filled with guilt, revealing to his wife and publisher his blatant plagiarism and trying to make amends with the real author.

What we get is a gloomy story filled with guilt, contrition and an attempt at redemption...a true morality play that I found interesting but unsatisfying.

We are also introduced to the character of Clay Hammond (Dennis Quaid), who is reading from his best seller, which deals with the story. It gets a bit confusing, and you wonder about who Clay is right up to the end of a movie that jumps around at a slow pace.

I did find the issue of plagiarism to be interesting from a writer's perspective. I guess the moral of the story is that people must learn to live with the choices they have made.

Rated PG-13, with some profanity. Of no interest to young people.

CORRECTION: In last week's review of "The Intouchables,” I said that the main character was a "paraplegic” when in fact he was a quadriplegic. I was on a tight deadline and did not have Joyce (the smarter one) check out the review before submitting it.


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