Sometimes, it can come in handy to have famous friends. Like Bradley Cooper, for example. He rose to Hollywood's A-list by now but did not forget about two of his friends that handed him a script 10 years ago. He promised them to star in the film if it ever got made. Now, The Words is there and Cooper kept his promise. Also starring Jeremy Irons, Dennis Quaid and Zoe Saldana, the drama quietly entered US cinemas with a PG-13 rating (for brief strong language and smoking) and was recently released on DVD/BD. The film itself is a quiet portrait that takes place on three different levels. For the most part, the end product manages to keep the viewer involved even though the ending surely may not be everyone's cup of tea.
Interested customers of the DVD/BD will get an extended version prolonging the theatrical cut by more than 5 minutes. Next to additional story, we can also observe that there was more coarse language to begin with. However, that surely would have meant that the movie got rated R, so it's not surprising that adjustments were made in order to use more harmless terms here. Even more obvious is that the editors tried to reduce the film's runtime to a more cinema-friendly duration by shortening an endless amount of scenes. This has no artistic value except for the aforementioned goal (e.g. "people applauding longer", "the man enters the bathroom longer", "man stares 2 seconds longer"). In order to achieve the best reading pleasure and to stress the relevance, only those differences are enumerated that really add anything useful and can be considered real extensions.
Comparison between the Theatrical Cut (PG-13) with the Unrated Extended Cut (both included on the US DVD by Sony Pictures).
33 relevant differences, consisting of
16 extended scenes
12 scenes with alternate material
4 additional scenes
1 additional scene in the Theatrical Cut
The Extended Cut runs 5 minutes 29 seconds longer than the Theatrical Cut.
(In the comparison, the Theatrical Cut will be referred to as "TC", the Extended Cut as "EX")
0:01:20: The EX shows Clay adjusting his tie.
0:03:47: The first real extension. The organizer of the banquet thanks Rory for coming although he’s sure that Rory is pretty busy. Rory replies that he sees it as an honor to be there. The organizer goes on and says that he thinks that the book is fantastic but Rory would surely know that since he read all the reviews himself.
0:05:29: Not only the shot of Rory at the car window is longer but also the shot of the old man in the hotel room. The EX has an additional voiceover by Clay who says that Rory had everything he could ever dream of but the old man would change all of that. This is followed by a black screen while the TC seamlessly fades to Rory.
The EX runs 14.16 sec. longer
0:06:32: Again, the EX is longer when Rory and Dora enter their new home and once more, the EX has an exclusive voiceover by Clay describing that Rory loves New York and also the situation he’s in, fighting to pay the rent, making his art and living like the authors he admires.
The EX runs 3.52 sec. longer
0:14:17: When Dora tells Rory that she’ll buy him the bag, he replies only in the EX: "Thank you, Mrs. Jansen."
0:14:48: The shot of the outer office is longer and the scene has a voiceover in the EX saying that the editor had a reputation of finding young and talented authors.
0:20:12: The close-up of Rory’s face is way longer in the EX. The voiceover says that Rory couldn’t stop thinking about the story and who’d written it.
0:20:30: When Rory and Dora discuss with each other, both versions use different takes that then become identical later on. Contentwise, the only significant difference is censorship for the PG-13 rating. Rory uses a different word in each cut.
TC: "How the hell do you end up where you are? How the hell does that happen?!"
EX: "How the fuck do you end up here?"
The TC runs 3.48 sec. longer
0:20:57: This time, dubbing was used in order to tone down the language in Rory’s line.
TC: "And I don't have a goddamn clue how anyone winds up where they do."
EX: "And I don't have a fucking clue how anyone winds up where they do."
No time difference
Extended Scene with alternate material
0:21:06: Again, there’s more coarse language in the EX that also includes a new shot of Rory and Dora who asks him a lot calmer while she screams at him in the TC.
TC: "So much time? I'm talking about my goddamn life here."
EX: "I'm talking about my fucking life here."
The EX runs 1.24 sec. longer
Extended Scene with alternate material
0:21:47: The shot of Dora at the sink begins earlier in the EX. Furthermore, the shot stays the same when Rory approaches her from behind, hugs her and apologizes. The TC changes to a side shot showing them from a nearer perspective.
The TC runs 5.48 sec. longer
TC: 0:21:58: Rory looks thoughtful in the TC.
+ 10 sec.
0:28:51: Both versions use different methods to express how time goes by after Rory handed the manuscript to his boss. While the TC shows different shots, the EX has an additional voiceover saying that weeks and months passed by but that Rory hasn’t forgotten about the book. In total, the EX is significantly shorter, though.
The TC runs 12.32 sec. longer
0:32:27: The shot of Daniella is different. She grins in the TC and looks a little more overwhelmed by Clay in the EX.
The EX runs 0.6 sec. longer
0:33:20: Clay tells Daniella that he has a backroom with wine and cheese and that they could go there. He’d surely come up with a better conversation starter there.
0:47:12: The young man is seen walking down the street in another shot when he visits the restaurant Celia works in.
0:58:49: When Celia tells him that she wasn’t ready to read his book yet, he tells her that it’s okay and asks where it is now. She points to her luggage.
1:03:55: The old man cites the Globe that wrote about Rory’s book that the author was a fresh voice that got something new to say.
1:07:00: Clay goes over to the waiting Daniella. He tells her that he’d normally have to be with the other guests trying to make money. However, they both agree on going to his apartment quite quickly.
1:08:53: A little bit more flirting. Clay tells Daniella that they could do whatever they want since they’re both adults. She tells him to get the wine.
1:09:48: Daniella looks longer at the photograph and puts it back in the book. She looks kind of disappointed.
1:10:17: Clay looks at himself in the mirror.
1:11:22: Clay’s reaction to Daniella’s request to tell her more about the story is different in both versions. While the TC shows him simply smiling, the EX has him grinning and clearly showing that he’s quite fond of her. He tells her that she should close her eyes.
The EX runs 10.48 sec. longer
1:12:28: Clay’s narrative continues in the EX. Rory would recognize that the myth of truth being liberating is indeed correct.
1:15:53: More censorship for the PG-13 rating when Dora yells at Rory.
TC: "I believed you!"
EX: "I fucking believed you!"
The TC runs 0.84 sec. longer
1:17:29: Rory’s editor is also no stranger to coarse language. At least in the EX.
TC: "You really messed up."
EX: "You really fucked up."
No time difference
1:18:17: The editor continues his rant, which is again more unbiblical in the EX.
TC: "You want to cut him into the movie rights? Fine. Wanna buy him a house? A car? A boat? But don't screw yourself for the rest of your life over one stupid mistake. And don't you screw me!"
EX: "You want to cut him into the movie rights? Fine. Wanna buy him a house? A car? A fucking boat? But don't screw yourself for the rest of your life for one stupid mistake. And don't you fuck me!"
The TC runs 1.24 sec. longer
1:19:26: A new scene with Rory and Dora at the park. Dora says that they are invited for dinner at his mother’s but Rory isn’t up for it. She recognizes that Rory is very touched by all the chaos surrounding his book and asks him when this is all over considering he’s not the first human being that has made a mistake. She asks him what they could do and mentions that they could have a baby. A thought they had for some time now. Rory begins to cry and fears that he’s gonna break in half. Dora hugs him and tells him that she won’t let that happen.
1:22:21: When the old man asks Rory if he came by to bullshit about plants, he answers in the EX that that wasn’t the case. The old man replies that if Rory had come to check whether the old man had told on him, he could rest assured and return to his wonderful life.
1:29:14: The boys play a little bit more soccer and Rory stares around thoughtfully.
1:31:42: Mostly, both versions use different takes here. In both, Clay and Daniella talk about Rory’s fate but Clay is way more aggressive and straightforward when he demands Daniella to tell him what happens to Rory. He is so pumped up that he lets her choose: answer his question or leave. In contrast, the TC has short pieces of the scene with Rory and Dora in the park.
The TC runs 0.84 sec. longer
1:33:09: When Daniella says that Rory is “fucked“, Clay’s reaction is different. In the TC, he goes directly up to her and tells her that it was a good start and that she should go on. In the EX, he applauds her.
The EX runs 4.76 sec. longer
1:34:03: The EX shows Clay implying that he might be Rory as he describes him as an elderly man who’s in an apartment with a woman way too young for him, who listens to his stories and thinks that he could give her something. He then touches her cheek and tells her that she is very talented.
The EX runs 33.56 sec. longer
1:34:57: When Clay and Daniella kiss, both versions use different takes again. The EX has the shot remaining from a distance while the TC changes to a close-up. It should also be mentioned that the TC shows a shot of Dora shortly before Clay stops kissing Daniella.
The EX runs 23.2 sec. longer
1:35:38: Once more, there are different takes and also slightly different endings (which basically say the same). Clay can’t decide between the real life and the literary world he has created.
TC: Daniella asks Clay what’s wrong and he’s reluctant with an answer, finally asking her to leave. Daniella analyzes that he has never really stopped loving that other woman (whoever that may be) and asks him how he will decide, life or fiction? This is followed by a collage from the storyline of Rory and Dora with a voiceover of Dora explaining how she fell in love with Rory. End credits.
EX: Daniella feels like she’s just been rejected and tells Clay that she really wants it. Clay tells her to leave and she asks him if that really is what he wants. In fact, what does he really want? Then, a shot of Dora being hugged by Rory is shown. Clay looks right at the camera and the end credits roll.
The TC runs 39.84 sec. longer