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The Words | 2012 | PG-13 | - 4.4.5

A talented and successful writer (Bradley Cooper) must make amends for plagiarizing his most important work from another author. But his inordinate ambition and desire for success extract yet another price -- this one, psychological. Also with Olivia Wilde, Zoë Saldana, Jeremy Irons, Ben Barnes and Dennis Quaid. Directed by Brian Klugman & Lee Sternthal. [1:36]

SEX/NUDITY 4 - A fully clothed man and woman (her bra straps show below her blouse sleeves) lie down on a mattress in an apartment, he lies on top of her and between her legs and kisses her as the scene ends (sex is implied). A man and a woman get married and he carries her over the threshold of their apartment and the scene ends (sex is implied). A woman climbs into a man's lap while he is typing on a laptop and kisses him; he tells her to stop and she gets up, shakes her posterior at him and says, "You're missing out"; he runs after her and sex is implied.
 A single woman kisses an older married man who tells her to leave his apartment because he is married (he is separated from his wife); the single woman continues to try to kiss him and we see a flashback to the man in younger days with his wife and the scene ends.
 A woman at a picnic in a park among other people sits cross-legged on a blanket, her dress skirt rising to mid-thigh; her fiancé kisses her and they lie down on the blanket as the scene ends (sex is not suggested). Three different couples kiss briefly on screen, with two couples in their kitchens and one couple in a living room; one of the couples kisses again at a train station, and she is crying intensely as he leaves for a foreign country after WWII ends. A man on a train looks out his window and sees his ex-wife with her new husband and baby, both of whom she kisses.
 A husband lays his head in his wife's lap in the back of a limousine and she kisses him briefly. In an apartment, we see a small, framed photograph of a man and a woman embracing.
 A literary agent tells an author to hurry up when talking to a female groupie because the author has an appointment and "there is no time for foreplay." A husband asks his wife if she is pregnant and she says no. A man says he read about a man making love to a woman in a famous book.
 Several scenes show a man and a woman in bed under blankets; he wears a T-shirt and she wears a tank top that reveals bare shoulders and arms. In two scenes, we see a man's bare chest. At a party and at a book signing reception several women wear short dresses and skirts that reveal legs to the thigh. A woman wears a low-cut blouse that reveals cleavage. A man works on a novel while wearing an undershirt (his bare shoulders and arms are seen). A poster features a nude baby in someone's upturned palm.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - Several men carry a charred body from a building, with a blanket over it and revealing only one charred arm and hand.
 A man and a much older man have a confrontation in a greenhouse with pushing and shoving as well as shouting; there's no injury but a few days afterward the elderly man dies. An argument occurs between a man and a woman; she responds by slapping him in the face and then leaves their apartment.
 Several loud arguments occur between a man and his father, the man and his wife, the man and his publishing agent, and the man and an elderly WWII veteran. A man and his wife have a long argument, leaving their apartment and continuing the fight in a park; the camera cuts to a scene of the couple lying in bed where she says, "We're gonna make it" and the scene ends. A man and a woman argue loudly in a trash-strewn alley. When a man returns to his apartment he finds that his wife has left him a note that says she went back home to her parents and he cries.
 A baby is shown crying continually and finally we see a doctor cover the baby entirely with a blanket in its crib and we hear that the baby died and see the mother in crying loudly; she is still crying the next day, and her husband slams silverware on the dinner table and leaves the apartment. Throughout the film, an elderly man wearing a hearing aid limps with a cane and exhibits a chronic hacking cough (his face is discolored, sallow and wrinkled and he has blood shot eyes). A man's eyes are bloodshot in several scenes. A man awakens from a nightmare about a crying man, he gasps and appears sweaty. We read a mention in a manuscript of blood trickling down a woman's face.
 At a train station in the late 1940s, a man runs down the platform, knocking people out of the way as he looks for something he has lost.
 After WWII, a dozen GIs work in a dark sewer tunnel in Paris with shovels and pickaxes to repair the sewer lines; the water reaches their calves and is black with filth. A butcher's assistant wears a blood stained apron as he dumps unwanted bones and meat scraps into a dented dumpster in a filthy alley strewn with debris.


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LANGUAGE 5 - At least 1 F-word, 8 scatological terms, 2 anatomical terms, 5 mild obscenities, name-calling (fool, stupid, spoiled, impetuous, silly), 11 stereotypical references to men, women, WWII veterans, the French, Americans, famous authors, bad writers, book club groupies, literary agents, parents, 2 exclamations (shut up), 6 religious profanities, 2 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - A medicine cabinet contains three large medicine bottles of capsules and we see a man swallow a few capsules with water. Several dinner scenes in homes and apartments feature wine on tables and show men and woman drinking, men and women drink wine in restaurants and at a book signing and awards reception, a large family toasts and drinks champagne in a restaurant, bottles of unopened and opened wine are seen on home kitchen counters, a man opens a bottle of wine in his apartment and pours two glasses for himself and a woman from which they both drink, a bottle of wine is shown in a shop window, we see warm beer mentioned in a manuscript, an elderly man says he could taste the wine mentioned in a book, a man leaves his dinner table and we see him staggering and slurring his speech later as we walks down a street drinking form a bottle of wine and we see a similar scene featuring another man, and men drink wine in a café. A man smokes cigarettes throughout the film and coughs sometimes as he does so, flashbacks show a man smoking as he writes a book, and two GIs smoke cigarettes in a café.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Fame, success, writing, plagiarism, relationships, honesty, integrity, lies, imagination, death, conflict, reconciliation.

MESSAGE - Writing students should not try to outsmart established authors.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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