“You have to choose between life and fiction. The two are very close but they never actually touch. They are two very, very different things.”
The Words is a 2012 film directed and written by Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal. It stars Bradley Cooper, Dennis Quaid, Zoe Saldana, Olivia Wilde, Jeremy Irons, Ben Barnes, and Nora Arnezeder. Overall this movie received negative reviews but I really enjoyed it. It’s definitely worth watching.
The moviebegins with famous author Clayton (Dennis Quaid) reading his novel The Words. The novel is about Rory, a starving artist (Bradley Cooper) and his teacher girlfriend Dora (Zoe Saldana). They’re happy but struggling to get by in New York City. At first, Rory is passionate, burning the candle at both ends in order to finish his novel. But after countless rejections, he accepts a job as a mail supervisor and settles for a life of mediocrity. Instead of writing, he takes naps and watches TV because it’s so much easier. I think most artists from painters to photographers to musicians to writers struggle with this (at least from time to time).
Rory and Dora honeymoon in Paris where Dora purchases a weathered briefcase in an antique store as a gift for Rory. He discovers a hidden manuscript that blows him away. He types the manuscript and saves it on his laptop. After Dora discovers and reads it, she persuades him to meet with an agent. She doesn’t know that Rory isn’t the author. The novel is hugely successful…until Rory meets an old man who is the real author. The old man tells Rory that the manuscript ruined his marriage. He says, “I loved the words more than the woman I was writing them for!” Rory’s life also unravels as he has to face the consequences of his mistake.
I won’t spoil the ending but I will say that it’s open to interpretation.