Directed by Brian Klugman & Lee Sternthal
Run Time: 96 mins
Genre: Drama/ Romance
Opens September 7
By Lisa Minzey
For this week’s new releases, we checked out The Words, the first directing project by Sundance Screenwriter Lab Alumni, filmmakers Brian Klugman & Lee Sternthal. This film brings on the star power, casting heavy hitting actors such as Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Irons and Dennis Quaid, as three different writers whose stories intertwine in a unique, yet sad way.
Renowned author Clay Hammond (Dennis Quaid), appearing before a crowd, is reading several experts of his new book, The Words. In the crowd, he is being admired from a far by an attractive young woman (Olivia Wilde), who has more in common with Clay than realized. As Clay recounts the story of Rory Jansen, the crowd hangs on his every word.
Budding novelist Rory Jansen (Bradley Cooper) has been trying to get his first novel sold, but he’s up against several factors. He wants to marry his girlfriend Dora (Zoe Saldana), building a life and family with her, but he chose to pursue his dream career. After he returns from his honeymoon in Paris, a gift from Dora holds the key to his future. Inside a hidden pocket of an old satchel, is a thick stack of yellowed, typewritten pages. As Rory reads through the pages, he uncovers the heart wrenching story of a man’s life destined to be something more.
The story recounts the time a Young Man (Ben Barnes) serving in the US Army, is stationed inParisduring World War II. During his time in Europe, he meets and falls in love with a Parisian woman named Celia (Nora Arnezeder). They have this extraordinary love affair, ending tragically, with Celia leaving him.
Rory, astounded by the raw talent on the hidden pages, ends up retyping the pages to channel some of that talent into his own work. Dora ends up finding the retyped files and approaches Rory, gushing about the incredible story she always knew he had in him. He fails to correct her and hides the truth. He ends up showing the story, by his wife’s insistence, to a literary agent he works for, who ends up demanding to rep him. Rory finds himself caught up in a web of lies, unable to spin the truth in his favor.
A life that Rory has always dreamed of has now been presented to him on a silver platter, increasing his anxiety that he may be found out. One day in the park, his worst fears come true, as an old man (Jeremy Irons) approaches Rory, recounting the story of the Young Man in Rory’s “novel”. The old man gives him the origins of the story, the aftermath and the years since he lost his novel. The fate of Rory’s future is in the mysterious man’s hands – will he expose him as the fraud Rory is or demand retribution on the side? Or will Rory’s conscious get the best of him, to come clean with those closest to him?
Older audiences will enjoy the nostalgia it brings, but the younger crowd will also be drawn in by the romantic drama that spans between generations. Overall, The Words is an entertaining film that most will enjoy. Check it out when it open in theaters everywhere Friday September 7th.