‘Best Sellers’ stars Sir Michael Caine

Category: Movies

The film Best Sellers is layered with several aspects that ultimately blend into the relationship between an author and his editor. Harris Shaw (Michael Caine) is a reclusive curmudgeon who lives with his cat. His best-selling book was published several decades ago, and people think he is dead. But they have a surprise coming.

Lucy Standbridge (Aubrey Plaza) has inherited her father’s publishing company. This is company that published Shaw’s triumphant novel. Now, as editor-in-chief, Lucy is faced with bankruptcy unless she can miraculously save the company. When she discovers that Harris’ contract, signed decades earlier, requires him to supply another manuscript, she hunts him down to ask for another book.

The problem is, Shaw doesn’t want to give her a manuscript or, for that matter, have anything to do with her. Therefore Lucy decides she has to sell the company. But out of the blue Shaw decides to hand over one of his prized writings.

From there it is up to both Lucy and Shaw to sell the newly published book which the company is touting as his greatest story. While out on the book tour Lucy and for that matter the public, are sorely disappointed in Harris Shaw. He refuses to help her at all with selling his book. He wrote it, and that is all he wants as far as his involvement. But that is not what the contract says.

Anyway, Lucy turns into a great salesperson when she devises some new ways to bring Shaw together with the public. During the tour the two form a bond. While their relationship was built on rocky ground, it slowly managed to stabilize and as a surprise to each of them, they find and admire each other.

The crux of the story is their relationship and how it goes from the gutter and pure disdain to becoming a friendship and more.

Caine is truly entertaining as the gruff, crude old codger. The Academy Award-winning actor looks like he is simply being himself as his character meanders his way through this frustrating dilemma in which he has found himself. At 88 he is still going strong and might garner award attention for his portrayal of the cantankerous author. He often has the audience wringing their hands, but then he can bring out the comedy and sentimentality and be the fun and intelligent author of decades ago. Harris Shaw is definitely a character with many levels, and Caine plays him wonderfully.

Best Sellers opens September 17, 2021.