Film Review: Best Sellers

STUDIO: Screen Media | DIRECTOR: Lina Roessler | CAST: Michael Caine, Aubrey Plaza, Ellen Wong, Scott Speedman, Cary Elwes
SPECS: NR | 100 min. | Comedy drama

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie

First-time feature director Lina Roessler (Little Whispers: The Vow) tackles the current state of publishing, social media celebrity and the generational divide in the pleasantly tame comedy Best Sellers.

Aubrey Plaza and Michael Caine in Best Sellers.

Lucy Standbridge (Aubrey Plaza, Life After Beth) has inherited her father’s publishing house which is on a steep decline after the poor performance of their mostly YA titles. A rival publisher (Scott Speedman, TV’s Animal Kingdom) offers her a lifeline with an offer to purchase their catalog titles but Lucy is not interested in selling off her dad’s legacy. When her assistant (Ellen Wong, TV’s GLOW) discovers their most famous–and reclusive–author, Harris Shaw (Michael Caine, The Prestige) owes them one more novel, Lucy forces Harris to both release his latest work and then to embark on an unconventional book tour in an effort to save the company.

If you are thinking, “I know where this is going” you’d be right. The paint-by-numbers screenplay from first time scribe Anthony Grieco doesn’t provide much in the way of surprises or deep insights. And a road trip comedy that pits an aging, cantankerous, booze-addled literary legend with a buttoned up, social media maven millennial should yield more laughs.

Luckily, Best Sellers is elevated by Caine’s go-to brash charm, while Plaza, playing it straighter than usual, makes for a fun foil. Roessler captures some heartwarming moments between the pair and in letting her stars do the heavy lifting, pilots a modestly enjoyable hour-and-forty minutes.

About Janine

Janine is a dedicated fan of the 1940 film Kitty Foyle, directed by Sam Wood, written by Dalton Trumbo and starring Ginger Rogers, who won an Oscar for her portrayal. And seeing that film is all it took to make her a lifelong movie lover. Janine is excited to add her insights to the great team at