Best Sellers Movie Review
Best Sellers bring together Michael Caine and Aubry Plaza for a road trip comedy with a dash of heart. The film does a few things right, it has two lead actors that are well cast and they play very well off each other and it keeps the runtime under 100 minutes. Unfortunately, that is where it stops. Michael Caine is obviously having a lot of fun and Aubrey Plaza does her best to hide how much she’s loving being annoyed by him. The story itself is just too trodden to find any new ground.
Caine plays a cranky, retired author who is roped into a book tour for his newest book after being dormant for years. Plaza is the publisher who is doing everything she can to keep her company above water and embarks on a book tour with the old curmudgeon and lessons are learned. Her tireless efforts to woo Caine out of retirement and keeping up with his antics on the road allow Plaza to show off some acting chops she doesn’t get to flex often.
Breathing new life into a tired and clichéd narrative has taken many forms, not the least of these is a standout cast. Bringing Caine and Plaza together is a stroke of genius and they are great together. First-time feature director Lina Roessler shows that she clearly knows what she is doing but plays it very straightforward without any additional flair or style, relying on the acting to elevate the material just isn’t the right move here. With a little bit of personality behind the camera, there could have been some added layers to lend to a more watchable film.
There is certainly a good film in there somewhere, but with the actors doing all the heavy lifting there just is not enough to hold your interest. While it is fun to see Caine pull a shotgun on people and contribute the next great catchphrase in yelling “Bullshite!” whenever you want, his crotchety old man shtick wears thin. As Caine and Plaza continue their road trip it is painfully obvious how this film is going to end and any real conflict is resolved without much tension. With a screenplay from newcomer Anthony Grieco, this is definitely a film that feels like it’s from a first-time writer and director, the ideas are there, but the execution is lacking.
2 out of 5