Best Seller is now the sort of movie you might find on late night TV, extended by tons of adverts. It’s a shame, as while this was a decent film when it was released, it has grown to become one of James Woods best films and it is the Brian Dennehy film.
What’s really interesting about the film is the script, which was written by cult figure Larry Cohen, who’s had one of the most interesting careers in film. In the past he mixed writing chores with directing low budget thrillers and horror movies.
Cohen’s ideas, even in his low budget films were always ‘high concept’ and this film is no different with a hitman approaching a cop/novelist to write his true story. High concept ideas can be gold for script writer for hire. And as a script consultant I’ve often come across writers who are great at high concept ideas but usually bad at executing the actual script. Cohen is very good at both.
Larry certainly deserves credit for surviving so long in Hollywood and navigating the sharks, he’d make an interesting dinner guest with Joe Esterhas.
Best Seller is a dated but enjoyable film – enjoy the two lead performances and the clever script.
So, 13 films to go…
Matthew Cooper has written for nearly all of the UK soaps. He was winner of the first ever Lloyds Bank Channel Four Film Challenge and the Oscar Moore Screenplay Prize. He’s been BAFTA shortlisted and Royal Television Society nominated for his work on Emmerdale. His first short film ‘Family Style’ starred Ewan McGregor and was picked up by Channel Four in 1994. He’s been a script consultant, script writer for hire and filmmaker for hire for over 20 years and has worked as a ghost writer on two produced feature length films.