Despite star-studded cast, ‘The Words’ falls short of excellence
Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 13, 2012 07:09
There is no doubt Bradley Cooper is currently one of Hollywood’s most beloved leading men, thanks to his ability to switch from comedy to drama in the blink of an eye. Only one question remains – was "The Words," his latest venture, worth his time and talent?
"The Words" is based around a complex and confusing plot of a novelist, played by Dennis Quaid, reading from his latest book about a man (Cooper) who, while struggling as an author, steals a man’s life’s work and calls it his own.
Not only does the movie feature three tales of novelists, it also showcases two very different narrators throughout the film.
The book Cooper’s character, Roy Jansen, stole was a memoir written by a young World War II soldier who fell in love in France and, in a matter of years, watched his life fall apart before him.
Though Jansen’s (Cooper) struggle toward success and acknowledgement as a writer were well-developed, he seemed to have a one-dimensional quality about him that could not be overlooked.
No matter how well every aspect of his life was going, he needed to have success. It ate away at him throughout the film, and when he finally achieved it through stealing the life of another man, he, too, found his world crumbling.
While the Quaid storyline leaves much to be desired and Cooper’s character was mildly boring, the third story of loss told by Jeremy Irons’ character is an epic tale that could have produced a fantastic book and movie.
The story, which serves as the most relatable of the three, tells of a young soldier who falls in love with a French woman, prompting a move to France after the war.
Love, however, is not strong enough to keep them together following the death of their infant. This introduction of tragedy in the film makes the story truly breathtaking and powerful.
The film’s scores were phenomenal, and the imagery of both modern-day New York City and World War II-era Paris were captivating backdrops, but these were not adequate compensation for the failing attempts of Quaid as both an actor and a narrator.
To say that Dennis Quaid is past his prime would be an understatement.
Besides being an all-around horrible narrator who seemed to stumble on every word, the fifty-something actor sported a new facelift that would make Bruce Jenner and Joan Rivers cringe.
Not only is the audience to believe Quaid is an acclaimed author, they are also to believe him capable of seducing a college-aged Olivia Wilde.
Since "The Words" is a movie made up of three parts, it is somewhat difficult to imagine the film as a whole, especially considering Quaid’s storyline could have been cut from the film entirely.
Looking at the individual pieces, Irons’ post-World War II story of love and loss told held so much potential and delivered a great story in its allotted time on screen. The film as a whole, however, left much to be desired.