Clayton Hammond (Dennis Quaid) attends a public reading of his new book, The Words. Clayton begins reading from his book which focuses on a fictional character named Rory Jansen (Bradley Cooper), an aspiring writer who lives in New York City with his girlfriend, Dora (Zoe Saldana). Rory borrows some money from his father (J. K. Simmons), gets a job as a mail supervisor at a literary agency and attempts to sell his first novel, which is repeatedly rejected by publishers.
After living together for some time, Rory and Dora marry and, during their honeymoon in Paris, Dora buys Rory an old briefcase from an antiques store he was admiring. After returning to America and having his book rejected again, Rory finds an old but masterfully written manuscript in the briefcase with a central character named Jack. Rory types the manuscript into his laptop. Later, while using the laptop, Dora happens upon the novel and reads it. She mistakenly assumes that Rory wrote the novel and convinces him to give it to a publisher at work, Joseph Cutler (Željko Ivanek) as his own. After a few months Joseph finally reads the manuscript and offers Rory a contract which he accepts. The book is a hit and Rory becomes famous.
At this point, Hammond takes a break from the reading and goes backstage, where he is introduced by his agent (John Hannah) to Daniella (Olivia Wilde), a student and amateur writer who wants to interview him and notes that he is separated from his wife, although he still wears a wedding ring. Hammond agrees to meet her after the ceremony and returns to the stage, where he continues to read the book.
The second part of the reading details Rory’s encounter with “The Old Man” (Jeremy Irons) in New York City’s Central Park, who reveals himself as the true author of the manuscript and that it was based on his life in Paris. He explains that he was a young man (Ben Barnes) when first stationed in France by the U.S. Army in the final days of World War II, where he fell in love with Celia (Nora Arnezeder), a French waitress. They eventually married and had a daughter, but the baby died shortly after birth.
Unable to cope with the loss, Celia left him and moved to her parents’ house. He then used his pain as inspiration to write the manuscript, which he took to Celia while visiting her at her parents’ home. She found the story so moving that she chose to return to him. However, she unintentionally left the manuscript in a briefcase on the train after her trip back to Paris, thereby losing it. Because of the loss of the manuscript, their reconciliation was short-lived, and they divorced soon afterwards.
The Words is a 2012 mystery romantic drama film, written and directed by Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal in their directorial debut. It stars Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Olivia Wilde, Jeremy Irons, Ben Barnes, Dennis Quaid, and Nora Arnezeder.
Directed by: Brian Klugman, Lee Sternthal
Starring: Bradley Cooper, Dennis Quaid, Olivia Wilde, Jeremy Irons, Zoe Saldana, Lucinda Davis, Liz Stauber
Screenplay by: Brian Klugman, Lee Sternthal
Production Design by: Michele Laliberte
Cinematography by: Antonio Calvache
Film Editing by: Leslie Jones
Costume Design by: Simonetta Mariano
Set Decoration by: Frédérique Bolté
Music by: Marcelo Zarvos
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for brief strong language and smoking.
Studio: CBS Films
Release Date: September 7th, 2012