Santiago's Review of The Words
The marketing machinery behind this film would have you believe this is some kind of romantic film. And they are right as far as the "some kind" is concerned. However this is much more than the simple premise of love amongst people.
The Words turns out to be more of a psychological exploration in the exercise of denial and solitude. Although the pieces are hard to put together before the very last sixty seconds of the film.
For all of you who would be paying close attention to well laid out visuals, there is a particularly relevant scene about thirty minutes into the movie. It is more of a flash. The first time our hero is laying in bed and can't get the newfound story out of his mind. That first dream, or possibly even nightmare. It begins with him hugging his wife from behind by the stove. And in a flash we see both him and her in that same French time period as if they were the characters of the story from the past. In fact, portraying the same hug...
For some reason, those few frames stayed with me until the end of the film, and it served me well, since they become particularly relevant when Dennis Quaid finally reveals to Olivia Wilde what has really been going on all along.
I enjoyed the intricacy of this romantic puzzle very much, and I had planned to lay it out for you in these words. But I'd rather you watch it on your own and enjoy it as I did. All I'll say is this:
Don't assume this movie is what it seems. It's purposely disguised as a simple romantic premise. Pay attention to detail. Specially the similarities between the couple's New York apartment and the French apartment. And the parallel in events from past to present as certain elements are revealed amongst both couples. It's not a coincidence.