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best sellers

★★★

director: lina roessler (the privileged, tainted)
starring: Michael caine, aubrey plaza, scott speedman, and cary elwes

 

REVIEWER: lyall carter

A cranky, retired author reluctantly embarks on a final book tour to help out a young publisher.

If you’d ask me to name two actors that I thought odds on would never work together I’d have Michael Caine and Aubrey Plaza on that list. They just come from completely different worlds, cinematically. While Best Sellers is typically cliched, it’s the genius casting and the performances of Caine and Plaza that greatly elevate the film’s quality. 

 

Lucy Stanbridge has inherited her father's publishing house, but the ambitious would-be editor has nearly sunk it with failing titles. She discovers she is owed a book by Harris Shaw, a reclusive, cantankerous, booze-addled author who originally put the company on the map decades earlier. In a last-ditch effort to save it, Lucy and Harris release his new book and embark on a tour from hell that changes them both in ways they didn't expect.

 

You’ve probably seen this kinda film before. Young whippersnapper looking to make a name for herself tries to prove herself and an old bitter guy is standing in her way. They’ve gotta get on to make life work for the both of them and in the end, they find themselves and each other. 

 

But it’s Caine and Plaza’s performances that made this thoroughly enjoyable. I don’t think I’ve seen Caine this disheveled or cantankerous. And he revels in it. At times he’s just plain awful, but still kinda likable. Plaza plays extremely well off that, showing steel and courage, and stands up to him. They both have great chemistry together, with you believing the fights they have and the deep bond that they form too. 

 

While Best Sellers is typically cliched, it’s the genius casting and the performances of Caine and Plaza that greatly elevate the film’s quality.

★★★