I wasn't planning on writing anything regarding the recent film I saw with my father, but after seeing an 18% rating on RottenTomatoes, I felt obligated to support this movie, and refute the nasty RottenTomatoes rating.
First off, let me say that although it was not the film of the decade, "The Words" was a creative and emotional production, with the added bonus of Jeremy Irons' impeccable performance as a grumpy old man stuck in his romantic, heart-breaking past.
It's funny that RottenTomatoes gave this film an 18% rating, while the audience gave it a 51% rating, which leads me to believe that whoever is reviewing movies for RottenTomatoes needs to make some adjustments, and ease up on the harsh criticisms. All things considered, I don't think there could have been a better or more engaging rendition of a story based simply on a manuscript, but Brian Klugman managed to squeeze out 96 minutes from this fictional book, and did so with minimal superfluity.
The story begins with a struggling writer (Rory Jansen), played by Bradley Cooper, who when honeymooning with his wife in Paris, happens upon an old briefcase, which he soon discovers contains a gut-wrenching manuscript of a man who lost his child, and the hardships accompanying the death of his newborn, and the separation from his wife.
Rory then proceeds to type the story, visualizing himself being the actual author of these words, and before he knows it, the entire manuscript is typed, word for word, punctuation for punctuation, exactly as it appeared on the original.
Jansen's wife then stumbles upon the document, and though Rory tries to confess, his attempts prove to be futile, and the next morning, per his wife's request, Rory shows the plagiarized document to an editor, who immediately publishes it, making Rory an instant hit, and giving him the publicity he needed to jumpstart his writing career.
Meanwhile, the old man, played by Irons, watches Jansen, absorbed in the luxuries that should rightfully be his. But the old man isn't interested in revenge, he simply wants Jansen to know the truth, to feel the pain that accompanied that story which he wrongfully claimed the rights to.
As all the pieces come together, there is a whole different perspective, taking place in the present as a middle-aged man steps up to a podium in front of an audience, reading the story from the perspective of an outsider looking in on the grand scheme of all that is happening. Jansen tries to recompense the old man, confessing to him, as well as the editor and his wife, but it is simply too late, and the old man doesn't care for the money or pity of the ignorant Jansen. A few weeks later, the old man passes away, taking the secret with him, and leaving Rory guilt-ridden for the remainder of his life.
At the conclusion of the movie, all the scattered pieces come together, as we realize that Jansesn is in fact the story teller who is conducting the reading, and has publicly confessed through his newest book, and truly felt the pain of the old man, as he lives a single man, whose wife has left him, yet his heart remains committe, though she has long since moved on.