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Film / A Thousand Words

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A Thousand Words is a 2012 (filmed in 2008) comedy-drama film starring Eddie Murphy and directed by Brian Robbins.

Loquacious literary agent Jack McCall (Murphy) uses his voice to strike book deals for his company all the while neglecting his wife Caroline (Kerry Washington) and baby son Tyler. Jack becomes intrigued with the work of Dr. Sinja (Cliff Curtis), whose teachings and philosophies have attracted immense crowds of people. During a discussion with Sinja at one of his many spiritual relaxation classes about striking a possible deal, Jack pricks his finger on a Bodhi tree. Upon returning home, he finds the same kind of tree has sprouted in his backyard, one with many, many leaves.

Jack calls Sinja over to his house to ask him why he put the tree here, but Sinja states that he had nothing to do with it. It isn't before long Sinja discovers with each word McCall speaks, a leaf drops off of the tree, Jack refuses to speak at all, as doing so will keep the tree, and him, alive. However, his work, marriage and friendships are all affected by his choice. Can Jack figure out an alternative method of survival? Or will he simply have to live the rest of his life to the fullest?


This movie provides the following examples:

  • Accidental Misnaming: Jack's senile mother Annie keeps calling him by her recently deceased husband's name Raymond.
  • Actor Allusion: Famous French actor and director Alain Chabat shares a scene with Eddie Murphy, playing the French Businessman. Both men have worked on Shrek, the former dubbing for the titular character and the latter as the talking donkey.
  • Disappeared Dad: Jack had one. He has a lot of issues he had to resolve throughout the film.
  • Hit Points: The leaves on the tree are treated like these.
  • I Should Write a Book About This: At the end, Jack is shown bringing the book to his own publishing company to work out a deal.
  • Jerkass: Jack, at first.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Jack believed that he was just like his father.
  • Shout-Out: When Jack uses talking dolls to talk on the phone, E.T., a Terminator doll and a doll with the likeness of Austin Powers are shown.


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