When a film is nowhere near as challenging, technically or thematically, as it thinks it is.
Dude 1 steals Dude 2’s words, becomes successful off a lie, is confronted by Dude 2, must confront own morality / ethics / blah blah blah. Meanwhile: story of Dude 1 and Dude 2 is told by Dude 3, who may or may not be Dude 1.
I can’t work out exactly why The Words feels so weary to watch. Is it because I don’t actually like any of the characters? Is it because I don’t see the premise’s central “conundrum” as a conundrum? Perhaps it’s because I’ve seen more enjoyable films about writers telling stories (for example, Wonder Boys – which actually felt as literary as its subjects, and was full of engaging and unpredictable characters and scenes). I learned nothing new from this movie.