'The Words' ends up blurry

December 27, 2012 


    These DVDs also were released this week (when two prices are listed, the second is for Blu-ray):

    New movies: The Well-Digger's Daughter ($29.95, $34.95), Something Better Somewhere Else ($19.95); Morning ($19.95).

    Coming Friday: Mass Effect: Paragon Lost ($34.98, $29.98)

    TV: The Wiggles Celebration ($12.99).

The Words, the first-time directorial effort from Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal, who also collaborated on the screenplay, is a well-acted but narratively limp indie that's undermined by a failure to connect emotionally with its audience. It's a film that intentionally blurs the line between reality and fiction and, as a result, never creates real or fantasy worlds that are remotely believable.

The central plot revolves around Rory Jansen (Bradley Cooper), a determined writer who discovers an anonymous manuscript of a spectacular novel. Rory reads the manuscript, then decides to peck out the whole thing on his laptop just to know how it feels to have typed such brilliant sentences. But then hot wifey (Zoë Saldana) reads it, thinks her husband has finally found his gift, and the next thing everyone knows, a novel is published and Rory becomes the Man of Letters.

Of course, the novel's actual author tracks him down. He tells Rory the whole story of how that work of fiction came to be.

In a third plot track, Dennis Quaid — as Clay Hammond, another very successful author — reads from his own novel about a struggling writer named Rory Jansen.

It's actually not that hard to follow, but it just isn't terribly effective.

DVD extras include an extended special edition with an alternate ending, a behind-the-scenes featurette and a "A Gentleman's Agreement" production featurette. Also, on Blu-ray: "Clay and Daniella" and "The Young Man and Celia" character featurettes.

The Words retails for $30.99 or $35.99 Blu-ray.

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