First Hit: It started well, fell flat in the middle and fell off the cliff in the end.
Clay Hammond (played by Dennis Quaid) plays a writer of acclaim who’s written a book people are very taken by.
We slip reality/time/space venues (but were not supposed to know it) and watch Rory Jansen (played by Bradley Cooper) struggle to be a writer. His adoring wife Dora (played by Zoe Saldana) supports his struggle and believes in him. His first self-reflective and deep novel is rejected by all publishers. He gets a regular job deliver mail in a publishing house.
On his honeymoon he finds a briefcase which has a typed manuscript inside. It reflects a story around WWII in Paris. He decides to type it up word for word and publish it. The real author as an old man (played by Jeremy Irons) reads it and makes himself known to Rory.
Rory is panicked, Dora is upset, and his life is turned upside down. So now we have viewed the story and life the old man wrote about, the story of Rory and Dora which is laid on the first story, with Hammond relating this all as a story.
Even worse we have to get to know Hammond a little towards the last 1/3 of the film and it is mediocre.
Quaid was a poor fit as Hammond the author and worse as he bared his truth to a younger admirer. Cooper was good but thought he was hemmed in by the part. Saldana was very good and more interesting than her husband the author. Irons was oddly crusty and philosophical about his plight. Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal both shared writing and direction roles. This is probably why the vision and execution of this story was mixed up and unclear.
Overall: This film wastes the words used to tell these stories and, in the end, it felt gimmicky and doomed to any good acting that could have been delivered.