Now playing in select theaters, as well as On Demand, today (September 17, 2021) is the “dramady” Best Sellers.
The film stars the legendary Michael Caine and Aubrey Plaza.
I’m referring to the film as a “dramady” because it’s both a drama and a comedy (at least that is how I saw the film).
The film also stars Ellen Wong (Scott Pilgrim vs the World, “GLOW”), Scott Speedman (Underworld, The Strangers) and Cary Elwes (“Stranger Things”, The Princess Bride). Cary Elwes has a “blink and you’ll miss him” kind of a role, sad to say.
Aubrey Plaza stars as Lucy Standbridge, a young woman who has taken over her father’s book publishing company when his health started to fail him.
The publishing house was once “on top” with many best selling books written by wonderful author’s. Lucy would love for it to continue that way, but their recently published books are falling very short on best sellers. They are more like “barely sellers.”
Lucy has an offer to sell her father’s publishing company, but she refuses. She believes there has to be a great author out there that can write another best seller and help restore the publishing company.
Lucy leaves no stone unturned. With the help of her assistant, they discover that a former author, Harris Shaw, received an advancement on a book that was never received. That means he owes them a book. Seeing as how his first book was a huge success, another best seller from Shaw could be what she needs to restore the publishing company.
Harris Shaw has not been seen or hear from in many years. It takes a while to track him down.
Lucy finds Shaw, and also learns that he’s a cantankerous, booze drinking, old man who is reluctant to turn over a manuscript.
Shaw eventually fulfills part of his old contract by providing Lucy with a book, which she quickly publishes. Sadly, the sales are less than stellar because no one has heard from Harris Shaw in decades, and most people don’t know who he is. For that reason, Lucy drags Shaw on a road trip to promote the book. This is easier said than done because Shaw has his own way of looking at things and his new book.
Will Shaw’s book ever become a best seller? Will Lucy be able to live up to her father and help save the family’s publishing company? To find out, you need to go see, or rent, Best Sellers. Look for it at a theater near you or On Demand.
I have only ever seen Plaza in a comedies, so it was interesting to see her in a bit more of a dramatic role. She flip flops in this film. One minute she says or does something funny. While I do prefer her in a comedic role, I think she handled the seriousness of this role very well. Sometimes you would never even guess that she’s a comedian.
Michael Caine hit it out of the ballpark. It’s as if this role was written especially for him. He played the part of Harris Shaw perfectly. From his crotchety behavior, to his alcoholism, to even his depression over the loss of his beloved spouse. He played this role beautifully. So much so, there were times I DIDN’T like his character, just by how ill-natured he was in this role.
I was surprised by Carey Elwes. I had a feeling it was him when he appeared on the screen, but I had my doubts. It wasn’t until I Googled the movie to find out the other actor’s names did I realize my hunch was correct. Too bad he didn’t have a bigger role in this film. He’s literally on screen for maybe two minutes at best.
Overall I liked the story. I think it’s a well written storyline. I like that it’s an original story and not just re-hashing a storyline that has been done a dozen times before. Kudos to the film writers for that.
The film is funny and sad, but over all very entertaining. It’s not a “bangi-bang-shoot-’em-up,” high-octane type of film. This film has more heart to it.
I’m not sure of the film’s rating, but due to the drinking and foul language, I would say it’s NOT a “family friendly” film.
The film has a run time of 100 minutes.
Below is the film’s trailer for your enjoyment.
*I received a free screener link in order to view this film to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.