Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Words

Tyler took me to The Warren in Moore the other night to see a movie I've been dying to see ever since I viewed the trailer. "The Words" intrigued me for two reasons: as one who dabbles in writing, I couldn't shun a story of the trade, and Bradley Cooper fills the screen for an agreeable amount of time. 

I was not disappointed.

The basic premise is of a stereotypical starving writer trying to make something of his words while supporting himself and his newlywed wife. They go on a jaunt to Paris for their honeymoon (a bit pricey I'd think, but who am I to judge holes in the plot?), where Dora, the wife, buys him an antique briefcase. Happy wedding, honey! Here's a manky old murse for you to tote around town!

However, the purchase inspires him (Rory Jansen, played by Bradley Cooper) in ways she couldn't imagine, for he discovers an ancient manuscript tucked inside. As his own stories continue to be rejected, he retypes the typewritten, yellowed pages that he found. Dora stumbles upon his modernized draft, but mistakenly thinks that he is the actual author. She is in awe, and Rory doesn't correct her, but rather follows her encouragement to show "his" work to someone at the publishing house where he works.

The story is well-received and becomes a best-seller, known as "The Window Tears." Rory is recognized for "his" literary talent, and basks in his success. Until an elderly man tracks Rory down to claim ownership of his story, "those are my words". The man painstakingly tells the backstory of the published book, until Rory must face his plagiarism demon. Rory offers the man money and declares that he will take the name Rory Jansen off of the book. Rory is offering the recognition that writers want for their personal concoction of words. It's not the words that make an author, it's the arrangement. The words exist for anybody, but it's how they are used that counts. The man vehemently declines all of Rory's attempts at atonement. He doesn't want to gain anything from the deceitful publishing of his story, he wants Rory to lose. And Rory does. He loses the trust he had with his wife, he loses his wife, he loses sleep, and he loses the chance to discover if he could have made it as an author on his own. 

Now, here's where I might lose YOU. So try to keep up. While this story is being played out, Dennis Quaid is narrating. Dennis is an author named Clay who is reading teaser chapters of his book, "The Words", to a captive audience. *SPOILER ALERT* Daniella (Olivia Wilde) goes home with him to his lavish apartment to hear the rest of the Rory Jansen tale. But Clay doesn't finish it. Because it's not over. Clay is Rory Jansen. Not in the literal name-changing sense, but in the Bradley Cooper is acting out Dennis Quaid's previous life experiences sense. Clay originally succeeded with a title that was not his own, got called out on it by the actual author, and wrote "The Words" to confess. 

It's a story within a story within another story. Which is fitting for a tale about fiction writers. A Very Lucky Girl highly recommends "The Words." I left without the use of mine. (See what I did there?)

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