By Megan Bianco
A local OC movie viewer recently commented that CBS Films’ The Words is ‘Writers’ Inception.’ These may be the most amusing, yet fitting, two words to describe Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal’s new all-star ensemble feature. Starring Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Irons, Dennis Quaid, Ben Barnes, J.K. Simmons, Zoë Saldana, Nora Arnezeder and Olivia Wilde, The Words certainly has enough star power to garner audiences, but can Klugman and Sternthal’s ‘words’ live up to their onscreen talent?
The Words is full of people always connected to writing and reading, with three interlocking stories set in New York City and Paris. The first features a middle aged author (Quaid) giving a lecture on his latest book to graduate students. The second features a struggling novelist (Cooper) trying to become published and discovering a lost manuscript of short stories written fifty years ago, which leads to the third story of a soldier (Barnes) living in Paris, who marries a French waitress (Arnezeder) before tragedy strikes.
The Words includes some fine performances from Cooper and, particularly, Barnes, but the women of the film (Saldana and Wilde) are underdeveloped and lack any real importance to the story other than to be at Cooper and Quaid’s side. Though the questions are all brought together in the end, it’s hard not to notice some of the sappy dialogue for the love scenes and a few plot-holes in the many storylines.