Matthew Lickona noon, July 29
Those expecting a Jean-Paul Sartre biopic will be disappointed to find instead the uninspired tale of a plagiarist. While honeymooning in Paris, a struggling young writer (Bradley Cooper) discovers a hand-written manuscript hidden inside the battered attache case his wife (Zoe Saldana) finds in an antique store. Five years later, Cooper’s past bumps into him in the form of the failed French novelist (Jeremy Irons) whose work he "borrowed" and transformed into a major bestseller. Playing the pilfered scribe, Irons phones in much of his performance while seated on a park bench. From his perch, he operates as a transitional device, guiding us through the flashbacks. Buttressed by spirit gum and latex liver spots, Irons is saddled with the most dubious Hollywood aging process since Leonardo DiCaprio in J. Edgar. Cooper’s limitations as an actor become more obvious with each passing performance. If you find your attention slipping, try watching his lips closely to spot "hell" dubbed over "fuck" on several occasions to ensure the film’s producers a more kid-friendly PG-13 rating. The joke’s on them. Short of painting Saldana blue, no effects-driven American teenager is going near this material. Neither should adults. Written and directed by Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal. With Dennis Quaid and Olivia Wilde. 2012.