Lucy Skinner has inherited her father's boutique publishing house, and the ambitious would-be editor has all but sunk her father's legacy. Desperate, she discovers the company is owed a book by Harris Shaw, a reclusive, cantankerous, booze-addled author who originally put the company on the map - 50 years ago. Lucy is ecstatic until she finds out Harris's old contract stipulates that no one edit his work. However, in exchange, he must tour the book. She's determined to dig deep and take one last stab at salvation. And so is born the book tour from hell.
Best Sellers is 102 minutes long and stars Michael Caine, Aubrey Plaza, Scott Speedman and Ellen Wong. It'll be in cinemas 25 November 2021.
When big debts and a failing business collide, it's a marriage of convenience. What you end up getting, are two people who haven't agreed on the same goals and therefore not always committed to the end game, nor are they even on the same page. A lighthearted comedy, this allows Caine to be as curmudgeonly as his heart desires, and he does not play well with others. Regardless of the lukewarm presentation, Caine still manages to command attention in a slow burn, sluggish kind of way, even when some of his actions seem a little preposterous. Between Bullshite and disrespect for the very words he penned, Harris Shaw the author manages to give birth to a meme and a following, that does not necessarily translate to book sales.
On the other end of the scale, the young editor Lucy and her equally young co-conspirator are of a different generation and the tempo they generate does not seem to sit comfortably with Caine's performance style and seems at odds in the feel and vibe of the film.
What follows in the telling of the tale is pretty predictable, if at times farcical. The little secret discovered between Lucy's father and Harris Shaw the author could have been fleshed out and would have provided a meatier, deeper story to connect to. Instead, you have something that isn't always believable, yet in the hands of the capable Caine, he manages to make it work. However, even then, the humour gets overtaken by the contrived plot mechanics.
The film comes together a bit more towards the end as both lead actors fall in sync with each other and attempt to pull at your heartstrings. If you're looking for a little something to while away your time, or you're a Michael Caine fan, you'll love it as there's not a lot to recommend here besides Caine. Aubrey Plaza does well enough but the structure of the film does not really allow for either star's performances to really shine.