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Review: The Words

Klugman and Sternthal's gimcrack
By PETER KEOUGH  |  September 7, 2012
1.5 1.5 Stars

Ironically, the words are the worst part of Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal's matryoshka-doll-like gimcrack. Here we are treated to three supposedly brilliant examples of narrative prose that, in fact, suck (on the other hand, given the success of Fifty Shades of Grey, maybe sucking is a good thing). Clay Hammond (Dennis Quaid), a bestselling author, reads his new book to a packed hall of rapt fans. Mercifully, the film fades from the turgid reading to the story itself, in which Rory (Bradley Cooper), also a writer, publishes a manuscript that he finds by chance and achieves instant success. Then it enacts that story, a tearjerker in which an ex-GI in Paris marries a Parisian girl and writes about it, producing the lost manuscript. And then there's another novel that. . . . Self-reflexive and post-modernist though this may be, it's just a long way around the block to package three drivelly scenarios and underscore a common Hollywood confusion between hackneyed, manipulative sentiment and genuine art.

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