Monday, September 24, 2012
3 Thoughts on The Words
1. The three stories - From the trailer, we can see that there is more to the movie than the main story. I thought that even though the main story, of a writer who steals a manuscript and passes it off as his own, was a bit dull, at least there seemed to be more intriguing parts to it. Unfortunately, the three stories are all part of one story and it's really not that interesting. I'm not sure if we are supposed to be surprised by the events as they unfold, but I doubt anyone was. It only took a few seconds to "get it" and then I was kind of left with this feeling of "what next?". Only there isn't anything next. It's not intellectual or clever or the least bit exciting. The acting ranged from decent (Bradley Cooper) to horrible (Olivia Wilde). My biggest problems with the film were Zoe Saldana's character, as the supportive wife, and the pace of the film.
2. The supportive wife - Even though Zoe wasn't the worst actor/actress in the film, her character was probably the most annoying (though to be fair, everyone was pretty annoying). At first, I liked that her character seemed to be supportive of her partner's passion for writing. Most women in this situation are portrayed as nagging, "get a real job" dream-crushers, so I was relieved that they opted to go a different route. Things started to disappoint me when she becomes the catalyst for Rory (Cooper) to pass off this found novel as his own. She finds it on his laptop (WHY ARE YOU GOING THROUGH HIS PERSONAL THINGS!) and then tells him how this novel is the best thing he's ever done. By the end, as Rory confronts her, he says something to the effect of "you knew it wasn't mine", which she denies. But if you think about it, if she really was as supportive as she is portrayed, then, he is right, she should have known. If she read his other work and then read something that is completely different (complete with spelling and grammatical errors that he admitted to keeping), why would she assume that it was his? That's a bit ridiculous right? So, in the end, she's the same manipulative shrew character that I despise. Also, as my friend pointed out, she spent the entire film smothering him. I admit, if I were in Zoe's shoes, acting along with Bradley Cooper, I might have trouble keeping my hands off of him, but it is really up to the Director to "direct" her to back the fuck up. Seriously, she was touching him in every scene. It was uncomfortable.
3. The pace - The three stories (that were really one story) felt very disjointed, but that wasn't the only problem. First, I am not a big fan of voice-overs and this film starts off with Dennis Quaid narrating and then it doesn't stop. His voice became grating. There was an awkward break in the film where we get narration from Jeremy Irons, in which we get details of what the actual book was about. This was told through these almost silent flashbacks that were probably the most boring sequences I've seen in a while. Hard to believe that this tepid love story is the subject of this supposedly amazing book. Then we get scenes with Olivia Wilde and Dennis Quaid painfully trying to seduce each other by endlessly talking. Talk about a lack of chemistry - I could almost feel her cringe anytime Dennis Quaid got too close to her. Also, it's not all that interesting to watch someone type for a long period of time, nor is it interesting to watch someone read, nor is it interesting to have words appear on the screen that the audience can't even read. All of these elements made for a really lengthy cinematic experience. I was sure the film was more than 2 hours, so I'm shocked to learn it was only 1 hour and 36 minutes. 96 minutes of torture.
**Attention Alias fans: There is a very short scene with Bradley Cooper and Ron Rifkin (aka Arvin Sloane). I actually squealed out loud.