The Words – A review and self reflection

Posted on September 10, 2012


I saw the movie The Words last night. Short and sweet: I loved it. First off, it’s about writing. And not just writing, but really good writing: writing that I wish I was capable of. I love writing and have ever since I was in 7th and 8th grade. And this was the type of writing that drew me in, engulfed me, swallowed me whole. I usually go to movies (and read books) as an escape, to pass the time, to enjoy myself. For movies, in particular, I rarely find myself identifying with one of the characters or the plot. Not this time as I found myself drawn to Bradley Copper’s character Rory Jansen. Why? Partly it’s his passion for writing but mostly it’s because of his lack of depth and insecurities. I mentioned earlier that I’ve loved writing since junior high school but never done anything with it until recently. One reason is that, like Rory, I don’t tend to let people get close to me. I’m not “real” like the “Old Man” (Jeremy Irons’ character). Meaning: I’m adept at stringing words and sentences together to create a nice, descriptive story or tale. I can relate facts like a journalist. But can I make people CARE? Can I make people laugh, or cry or weep? Can I make my audience relate to my pain? No, because my words are facts and data, not “windows into my soul”. I would love to be able to write like the characters in The Words. But to do that I would have to open myself up.
My favorite line from the movie sums up not only Rory Jansen, but me as well: “I’m not who I thought I was… and I’m terrified that I never will be.” Like Rory, after 46 years on this planet I am doubting myself and ask myself the following…
Who am I? Who am I REALLY?
Is this really me?
Why can’t I “be real”? Why can’t I “come from the heart?”

And that’s where I feel that Rory fell short. He wanted to write, but couldn’t “come from the heart” and be “real”. I know I walked away from the movie thinking “if I could write like that, then I could call myself a writer”.

No spoilers here so go see the movie. I highly recommend it even from the male point of view. Yes, it’s a “chick flick” but I remember wanting to see it from the minute I saw the first preview. It lived up to my expectations as least. I would give it at least 4 1/2 stars out of 5. Jeremy Irons…. what can I see. He’s a master.

As for me… I can only hope to become half the writer that Rory Jansen was.

Posted in: Movie Reviews