Best Sellers: Michael Caine and Aubrey Plaza do just enough in predictable drama

Aubrey Plaza and Michael Caine are doing simply sufficient of their light-weight and predictable new film.

When Michael Caine was on the promotional tour for Best Sellers, he gave an interview to The Guardian during which he mentioned this film is probably going his final.

He cited his age, his backbone, an absence of roles and his burgeoning profession as a author.

Within days, Caine retracted the suggestion he was calling it quits (perhaps Christopher Nolan will write Caine a job in his upcoming Oppenheimer movie). If nothing else, the backflip at the least provides audiences hope that Caine isn’t going to finish his near-seven decade-long profession with the middling American drama.

Best Sellers is a skinny, largely forgettable and inoffensive film with two amenable leads in Caine and Aubrey Plaza, but it surely’s unfit of being Caine’s capstone.

When Robert Redford retired (kind of, he later declared “you never know”) his remaining position was in David Lowery’s melancholic, low-key heist film The Old Man and the Gun, which weaponised Redford’s devil-may-care straightforward allure as a serial financial institution robber.

That’s the type of position Caine ought to get to exit on, one thing that was tailor-made for his skills. His position in Best Sellers may’ve been performed by a dozen others.

If Best Sellers, directed by Lina Roessler, doesn’t have to hold the burden as Caine’s remaining position, then it’s a mildly amusing drama that’s punctuated with occasional moments of poignancy and grumpy humour.

Caine performs Harris Shaw, an writer who wrote one award-winning novel 40 years earlier and has since been a cantankerous, hard-drinking recluse who’s susceptible to throwing his ringing rotary cellphone out the window with one hand whereas his different holds his cigar.

In New York, Lucy (Plaza) is staring down the barrel of scathing opinions and negligible gross sales for the most recent younger grownup guide launched by the publishing home she inherited from her father. She feels insufficient within the shadow of his literary legacy.

Desperate for successful to stave off a sale to the vulturous Jack (Scott Speedman), Lucy and her assistant Rachel (Ellen Wong) uncover a decades-old contract with Harris, one which stipulates he owes them a guide for the $25,000 advance he was beforehand paid.

Lucy forces Harris to honour his contract and he provides them a manuscript with the situation that he’ll go on the guide tour if nobody edits his guide.

But a guide tour with an unwilling participant, even a Pulitzer Prize successful one, is tough work – driving him from bar-to-bar to crowds of ironic hipsters who come for the social posts and never the printed phrase.

The battle between the 2 results in some stunning emotional revelations and – expectedly – Lucy and Harris’s relationships begins to thaw, as they arrive to know one another’s ache.

Best Sellers is a light-weight, predictable drama that telegraphs its contrived story beats, however Plaza and Caine just do sufficient to show two unlikeable, prickly characters into ones you’ll be able to persist with for a few hours.

Rating: 3/5

Best Sellers is in cinemas now

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