Home book seller Michael Caine steals scenes from independent comedy-drama

Michael Caine steals scenes from independent comedy-drama

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As nice as it is to watch Caine swear, brag and rage through the various seedy bars that accept their book rounds, a gadget can only last so long. And this is also the case for the “Best Sellers”, which runs out of steam as soon as he tries to understand: what then? How do you get this acerbic road trip comedy back to the heart it wants to be? Trying to extract emotions from the sparkling dynamics of Caine and Plaza’s weird couples, “Best Sellers” comes to a screeching halt. This is where things take a predictable turn: Harris thinks he’s an impostor, Lucy tries to prove she’s not. Debilitating Illness hastens glimpses of deeper character moments between them, and “Best Sellers” drops its almost ridiculous elements of its first half (primarily portrayed by hilarious snobbish book reviewer Cary Elwes) for more direct sentimentality.

It’s good, even if a little stale. Caine and Plaza are formidable, Plaza in particular fine-tuning her boundless energy into a Type A maniacal businesswoman. When they clash, sparks fly. When they have a heart to heart, they sell it, even if the movie isn’t sure what they are selling. Is authenticity a sham? Are the father figures the ones you make? Read a book?

Ultimately, “Best Sellers” leaves you with the somewhat deflated feeling of “that was good”, like a good beach read rather than a life-changing tome. But while you can see its twists and turns from a mile away, Caine and Plaza’s eccentric dynamics and Roessler’s visually stimulating direction make “Best Sellers” entertaining enough to feel right at home.

/ Movie rating: 6 out of 10



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