I didn’t need to be asked twice to review new movie Bestsellers starring Michael Caine and Aubrey Plaza. Lina Roesslor’s new comedy is based on books, publishers and authors and books and writing are my passion. This funny movie is about a reclusive and rather cranky author who embarks on a publicity tour with his desperate publisher. The road trip ahead will have you laughing, cringing and becoming quite emotional as it reaches its conclusion.
Lucy Stanbridge has inherited her father’s publishing firm, but the overly ambitious would – be editor has nearly sunk it with failing titles. She discovers she is owed a book by Harris Shaw, a reclusive, cantankerous and booze addled author who originally put the company on the map decades earlier. In a last ditch effort to save the business, Lucy and Harris release a new book and embark on a book tour from hell that changes them both in ways they didn’t expect.
British icon Michael Caine ( Going In Style, Batman, and many more) relishes the role of Harris, which is miles away from many of the dignified or gentleman criminal roles he has recently played. Constantly exclaiming ‘ Bullshite! “ and engaging in ever more embarrassing antisocial behaviour, the role could have become farcical in less steady hands. Yet Michael Caine still has the acting chops to bring to life the character of cantankerous and reclusive author. Some of his antics will leave you speechless and he is amusing to watch as the down on his luck author who needs to publish just one more book to fulfil his contract. Caine is also an author himself so is well aware of the mechanics of a book tour.
Aubrey Plaza (The To Do List, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates) skilfully underplays the role of Lucy, allowing Caine to shine. She really seems annoyed at her co- stars antics. She plays the fidgety, anxious millennial as a perfect foil to Caine’s grouchy octogenarian. Lucy’s character has been caught up in the romance of publishing a string of unsuccessful YA novels and her only hope is to bring back Shaw for one final roll of the dice, even though his last bestseller was written a half a century ago.
Road trip movies are often filled with conflict and that is the case with this one, where Harris Shaw does his best to exasperate Lucy with ever more ridiculous stunts at every reading. The coming together of social media and book publishing is relevant and funny with Harris and his antics eventually becoming a ‘meme’. The movie draws to an emotional resolution with some sweet and genuine surprises.
Bestsellers will suit those of us who love the mechanics around the world of book tours and who also enjoy taking a sweet and funny unlikely buddy based journey. But it is the skilful Michael Caine who is the real reason to watch. He plays the crusty and colourful author, Harris Shaw to a tee. Caine truly is an acting treasure with a real connection to his co- star. It’s a pleasant way to while away an afternoon or evening at the cinema if you are looking for heartwarming film. Bestsellers is in cinemas from November 25.
Freelance writer, wife and mother of three sons, occasional supply teacher and aspiring romance author, Michelle Beesley can be most often found in a coffee shop chatting with friends or beside a rugby field cheering on her favourite teams.
Michelle is a prolific—albeit reluctant—traveller, keen walker, bookworm and yoga enthusiast who loves anything pink or sparkly (including champagne!).