A look at the least important things in life

Movie Trailer Thursday: The Words


Due Out: September 7

Blast you, Bradley Cooper. You show up here, with your boyish good looks and aw-shucks demeanor and then go and ruin it by plagiarizing a story you found in a briefcase.

There. I summed up this movie in less than 40 words.

Coming out the same day as the much more ballyhooed Gangster Squad, I chose to review this trailer because I like Cooper and kind of disdain Ryan Gosling. I know ladies; he’s got the chiseled jaw and rock hard abs and whatnot. But everybody is on the Gosling bandwagon, and I hate bandwagons.

Plus, from watching this trailer for two and a half minutes, I would say that not many people are going to see this movie, so it needs all the pub it can get.

It’s not a fun movie to look at. I’m a writer (kinda) and I don’t even really care if I see this movie. The concept of plagiarism is basically a huge no-no in my little world, so seeing a movie about someone’s conflicting emotions is a bit odd.

In addition to that problem, this movie just looks kind of boring. Let’s be honest: most stories about writers are a bit on the dull side. Aside from the Hunter S. Thompson’s of the world, most writers are nerdy little dudes with an off-beat sense of humor and terrible people skills. Wait, that described Thompson perfectly; he just happened to be better at describing his surroundings while high on mescaline and drunk on Bacardi than the rest of us.

(For more, give The Rum Diaries a read or watch Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Both are worth your time.)

But back to The Words. Dennis Quaid, Jeremy Irons and Olivia Wilde play roles in Cooper’s life after he writes a book he basically found. (Don’t blame me for ‘spoiling the plot’; if I can glean this from watching the trailer, it can’t be that hard to figure out.) I suppose he’s going to learn some life lesson and be a better man and a better writer for it.

It seems to have some ‘coming to grips with your mortality and not being who you thought you were’, which seems awesome when heard through a (fictional) journalist’s perspective. At a time when newspapers are shutting down and laying off veterans left, right and center the journalism community needed more proof that we entered a thankless profession with a low success rate. This should be a real crowd-pleaser.

Give Cooper credit: he’ll play just about anything. Last week’s movie had him as a Rastafarian bank robber, now he’s a sensitive, struggling writer. I’ll probably just remember him as Phil from The Hangover, and I don’t think I’ll be alone.

But he’s overstretched himself here. No one is going to buy that Phil is going to be torn up emotionally after plagiarizing. Maybe he at least found a place for the cigarette-smoking monkey in this film; that monkey carried Hangover II.

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