Sometimes you're flabbergasted when very good actors are in very bad films. But no-one sets out to make a bad movie. They just turn out that way. But, seriously, there's no way that the script of The Words could have appeared good to anyone, could it?
The story-within-a-story-within-a-story is so slight and inconsequential, like the tiniest of a set of Russian nesting dolls, that we may be forgiven for letting our minds wander toward bedtime and tomorrow's errands.