Reel Critics: '2016' forgot to include real debate

BookMoviesThe Words (movie)EntertainmentBarack ObamaBradley CooperJeremy Irons

Conservative author Dinesh D'Souza is the darling of right wing think tanks. He worked at the Hoover Institution, the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute. His books and essays feature arguments tailor made for Bill O'Reilly and Fox News. He now seeks to become the far right's answer to left wing filmmaker Michael Moore.

D'Souza is the director and moving force behind the political documentary "2016 Obama's America." With his educated intellect, you would expect to see compelling information about the future dangers of runaway deficits and other administration policies as they might impact the nation over the next four years. But these serious issues take up only the last few moments of this movie.

The rest of the film is a character assassination diatribe about as subtle as Rush Limbaugh foaming at the mouth. It mainly documents the philandering ways of Barack Obama's absentee father. Insulting references to his wives, lovers and children are featured in detail.

Obscure pundits make negative claims about the president's psychological state based on their own speculative assumptions. It's partisan attack fluff with little substance. It looks a lot like the confetti that rains down at the end any political convention.

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The 'Word' here is snoozer

"The Words" was a pet project of star Bradley Cooper, whose box office clout helped get this film made. It's a first-time screenplay written by good friends, and while their intentions to make a classy, thinking man's romance may be honorable, it lacks power.

Handsome aspiring writer Rory (Cooper) cannot find a publisher for his book, as it's too cerebral for the mass market. While on his Paris honeymoon, he finds a vintage satchel. Lo and behold, tucked inside is a sure best seller written by an unknown.

Rory gets it published as his own, and garners lavish praise and riches. Then a crinkled old man (Jeremy Irons) finds him and tells him he wrote that story, he lived that story. Cue the sepia-toned flashbacks.

What starts out as interesting drama of moral choices gets totally muddled by the end. I still don't get what Dennis Quaid was doing in the picture. Irons is the most watchable character, and it would have been best to have kept him the main focus.

Ah but that's Hollywood for you. Once again, style wins out over substance.

My words of advice on "The Words" is to wait until it comes to TV. It will have you fast asleep on the couch in seconds.

JOHN DEPKO is a retired senior investigator for the Orange County public defender's office. He lives in Costa Mesa and works as a licensed private investigator.

SUSANNE PEREZ lives in Costa Mesa and is an executive assistant for a company in Irvine.

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