Veteran Michael Caine is in solid form in the role of an old and forgotten writer who will shine on the stage again after several decades, but even he does not raise this humorous drama above average. Everything here is somehow too expected, predictable, already seen, and yet in the end somehow unnecessarily sugary, but it is Caine, but also the solid Aubrey Plaza that holds the “Best Sellers”. Plaza is Lucy Bainbrdige, a young woman who inherited from her father a once-reputable publishing house in New York City. But since she became the main one, nothing has gone her way. Whatever she publishes is not sold at all, debts are piling up, and potential bidders are constantly knocking on her door. Already a little desperate, Lucy will realize that her father signed a contract with the once famous writer Harris Shaw (Caine) 45 years ago, who shone with the first novel and then simply disappeared.
However, in those old days he signed a contract according to which he is obliged to do a promotional tour with the book, and Lucy will pull her old, drunk, grumpy grandfather out of the hole in which he lives and try to profit from his old fame. Of course, somewhere in the dust he keeps a novel he wrote a long time ago and which Lucy’s publishing house will publish, but once they go on tour, it will turn into a complete fiasco. At least in the beginning. Harris will constantly sabotage Lucy’s attempts at promotion, will cause scandals, as if he will make an extra effort to ruin everything. Still, his bizarre and wild behavior will lead him to cult status, and given that the story here is quite predictable and sentimental, it’s easy to guess how that might end.
The best moments of the film are certainly the ones in which Lucy and Harris outwit each other, when an old grumpy and eternally drunk writer who defies everyone, deliberately provokes and creates scandals. But we will realize after a while that there is something much deeper behind his rage against the whole world, and soon he and Lucy will develop a relationship as if they were grandparents. But this relationship will not be so unambiguous and simple, especially when we learn some of the secrets hidden for years, which is why Harris once chose to hide from the world instead of literary fame. It wasn’t that bad, but we’ve already had the opportunity to watch a lot of better and more original films on a similar topic about forgotten old writers coming to the public spotlight again. Rating 6.5 / 10.
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