A Thousand Words Reviews
"A Thousand Words" isn't really the kind of movie that makes you angry but there's nothing good about it whatsoever. The film is profoundly misguided with jokes that don't seem to be aiming for any particular audience, the plot itself is ludicrous and Eddie Murphy is probably at his most irritating ever. Maybe you can detect why this movie is so bad from the premise. Eddie Murphy plays fast-talking book agent Jack McCall who doesn't read books, he just sells them. He tricks a spiritual guru into letting McCall's firm represent his latest enlightening tome, which ends up being five pages. McCall is upset at the guru for pulling a fast one on him so the guru puts a curse on McCall in return. A tree grows in McCall's backyard and whenever he utters a word, a leaf falls off the tree. When the last leaf falls, McCall will die. But wait a second! How is McCall going to do his job and take care of his wife and newborn son without talking? Perhaps through... wacky antics?
In all fairness, the guru in the film doesn't actually place a curse on Jack McCall (that would have been more interesting). The tree sort of just appears out of nowhere because the universe hates the man. Why? Because he spends time at work providing for his family, isn't enthusiastic about moving out of the beautiful house with the pool he currently lives in and hates his no-good father who abandoned him and his mother when he was a child.
The real problem is that there is not one single person that acts like a genuine human being here. Let's say that you WERE afflicted with this kind of curse and that you couldn't talk anymore. What would you do? Would you go to your psychiatrist just to stay quiet? Would you go to work? Would you go to restaurants and try to order food? Of course you wouldn't, but Jack does. His life is literally on the line and he tries to go about his day like nothing's going on. If you didn't already dislike the character because he's a liar and a jerk, you won't like him because he's an idiot.
Everyone in this film is a badly written moron. Two prime examples are his assistant Aaron (Clark Duke) and his wife Caroline (Kerry Washington). The moment that Caroline notices that Jack isn't speaking to her, she immediately assumes that they are having all kinds of problems. He can't answer her questions and was too stupid to write down on a piece of paper exactly what is going on and keep it with him at all times so here come the contrived assumptions. She thinks his silence means at various points that a) he doesn't love her anymore b) they need to spice up their marriage c) he doesn't want to move out of the house d) he doesn't care about the safety of his son. It's one of those movies where apparently these two people have just met despite being married because there is no trust whatsoever. Next is Aaron. They desperately try and make this character funny and it never works. Clark Duke does his best "black guy" impersonation for Jack and predictably, he screws up all of the business deals. I suppose it makes sense that the dumbest guy in the office hired the stupidest intern to assist him, but it isn't funny, it's infuriating.
Murphy never speaks, so he jumps around miming what he wants to say just so everyone around him can misunderstand in the most ridiculous ways. Jack goes to the Starbucks, tries to order and leaves with CDs, muffins and at least a half dozen drinks. How do you misunderstand directions for coffee into a $68 order? When McCall points towards his head and mimics a gun motion (for three shots) I thought he was telling the clerk that a) he wanted to kill himself out of frustration, which I really sympathized with or b) he wanted the guy taking the order to drop dead, which I was hoping would happen.
Who is this movie was made for? You'd think with the nutty premise that it would be for children, but no. Murphy giving the finger, Aaron talks about strippers and sex in the office, Caroline dresses up like a dominatrix and there's quite a bit of cursing. Maybe it's for adults then? But what kind of adult would be tolerant of Eddie Murphy acting like a mime on acid for an hour and a half? Any adult would also be able to see through the obvious moments of forced sentiment made to have you forget how unlikeable the main character is and would not tolerate this brain-dead story.
I'm convinced that the people who edited the movie and added the special effects knew that this was an absolute train wreck and they did everything in their power to subliminally manipulate the audience into not burning down every print of this film. From the very beginning, if you look closely you can see that in the title of the film "A THOUSAND WORDS" as it fades out, the letters "USA" takes slightly longer to disappear. Coincidence? Maybe. But I think it's yet another subliminal attempt to make you "like" this film. Further proof comes with the ending, which is overly melodramatic and forces in a "nice message" that has no place in this story. It's such a predictable, lazy conclusion that you won't believe they went there.
Like I said, the movie isn't quite as infuriating as say... wearing a suit made of poison ivy, but this movie flat-out sucks. It's cheap, it's manipulative, it's overacted, it's generic, it's not funny. Ever. I can't think of anything good about it, and can't fathom anyone having a good time with it, so it gets the lowest review possible, a 0/5. (On Dvd, June 2014)
(Full review coming soon)
yes you read that right...I wasted my time watching this one and man it's bad..
Wasn't expecting a great deal, but this was okay to watch once.
Ending is enough to make you vomit, but leading up to it is okay with some amusing situations and characters. In particular I liked Jack Mcbrayer as the barista.
Quite an original idea for this genre. Sounds ridiculous on paper, but actually it does work. I do agree with the comments that Eddie does not have the facial expressions to pull off silence.
There are elements of this movie that deserve comment. I do not think before this I remember seeing Eddie reach into his personic drunk father bag from his stand up through a real role like this before. I really feel something happening in a healing way with this film. I hope that the negative reviews that it received had not closed the door on this mode of expression in comedy. Comedy needs to release a great amount of anger and reach into forgiveness, it is in that forgiveness that Comedy is born, because it is a attainment of understanding and an alignment with compassion. This vehicle allowed the artist to move through this vividly and expressively in community space without any extra motives.
The movie is excellent for the cast and the viewer equally. It is a jump point kind of film that seeks to expand without diminishing type and cast and for that alone it is brilliant and profound.
Honestly! I actually wanted to see this movie since I like Eddie Murphy! But this is just....wow. I can see why it's faded into obscurity, since this movie is awful!
Having Eddie Murphy as an unlikable central character (which is a personal pet peeve of mine) is absolutely horrible to watch. I hate his character and I wanted to see him suffer.
And watching him suffer was just...not funny. It was just a bunch of nothing happening since, well NOTHING WAS HAPPENING. He couldn't talk, and that's about it! They didn't work with the concept , which is why the comedy fails.
The one redeemable factor in this movie was the climax, which was very touching since our main character had to pick and choose his final words. He had some nice things to say. Props to the script for that.
Then the ending happened and...oh dear. This ending is awful. Just awful.
Don't watch this movie. Let this movie disappear so I will never have to talk about it again.