08 February 2013 - 02:07 By Tymon Smith
'The Words' is a story about a book that contains two other stories
'The Words' is a story about a book that contains two other stories

Bradley Cooper might be getting plaudits for the direction in which he's taken his career post-Hangover thanks to his appearance in The Silver Linings Playbook. But as far as I'm concerned Cooper has the acting ability of a plastic bag. This multi-layered romantic drama does nothing to change that opinion.

The Words

Directors: Brian Klugman and Lee Sternhal

Cast: Dennis Quaid, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Irons, Zoe Saldana, Olivia Wilde

Klugman and Sternhal give us a story that contains two others within it. We begin with author Clay Hammond (Quaid) reading his novel to an audience. His book tells the story of a young, struggling writer, Rory Jansen, who finds a manuscript in an old briefcase, retypes it, submits it to a publisher and achieves overnight literary stardom.

The problem is that the old man who wrote the story (Irons) knows it is his. So we get a flashback to the story he wrote, which has catapulted Jansen and his wife Dora (Saldana) into the limelight. With a script that lacks the intelligence and playful post-modern trickery of Charlie Kaufmann's Adaptation, the film fails to deliver on the promise of its premise.

Though it's always good to see Irons, who tries his best, it's just dull to watch Cooper pretend to have a moral crisis while still managing to look like he's walking around with a mirror in front of him all the time.

The real lesson of The Words is that a good idea on paper is not always a guarantee of cinematic brilliance.