What a wonderful movie! The Words (2012) is a story within a story within a story. The underlying story involves a WWII GI who falls in love with a French girl and then writes a novella about their relationship. Unfortunately, she loses the manuscript and that precipitates the end of their relationship. Fast forward 60 years and a struggling young writer from NYC finds the manuscript, falls in love with it, and has it published under his name. Fast forward 20 years and an established NYC writer has written a book about the young writer from NYC and how his life was affected by his plagiarism.
The cast is great – the WWII GI is played by Ben Barnes and 60-years later by Jeremy Irons; the beautiful French girl is played by Nora Arnezeder, the struggling young writer from NYC is the movie’s star, Bradley Cooper, and his wife is Zoe Saldana; and finally, Dennis Quaid is the established NYC writer.
The relationship between Cooper and Saldana is the centerpiece of the movie, and it reminds me much of the relationships depicted in the TV series Felicity – i.e., ambitious, artsy young people in NYC trying to find a place in life that accommodates their dreams yet accepts practical reality.
The Rotten Tomato critics hated The Words – only 22% like it. One critic said that it “is a well-acted but narratively limp indie that’s undermined by a failure to connect emotionally with its audience.” Not exactly; 50 of the Rotten Tomato audience liked it, and I was one of those. In fact, I more than liked it. Three and a half stars out of four.