Best Sellers Plot Synopsis
Legendary actor Michael Caine stars as Harris Shaw in this comedy-drama that is currently streaming on Now TV in the UK and STARZ in the US.
Harris is a cantankerous old novelist who has been living as a recluse in the years since his last book became a literary sensation. His solitary existence is shattered by Lucy Stanbridge (Aubrey Plaza), who needs his help in rescuing her publishing company from financial extinction. Unfortunately for her, Harris isn’t best pleased when she intrudes upon his life so the chances of her saving the company are slim.
Why does Lucy turn to Harris for help?
Lucy has taken over the publishing house that her father used to manage before he became unwell. But thanks to a few bad book choices, the company has failed to perform and it is now threatened with closure.
But when the young publishing editor realises Harris Shaw still owes the company a book, she sees a way to save the agency. When she pays the grumpy author a visit to remind him of his contractual obligations, however, she is given a less-than-warm welcome. Harris points a shotgun at Lucy and her assistant and rudely asks them to leave. He clearly has no interest in Lucy’s plight and despite the fact that he owes the company another book, he has no interest in doing what is legally right either.
Does Harris change his mind?
After failing to get another book out of Harris, Lucy has no choice but to sell the company. But just before she hands it over to Jack Sinclair, the owner of a rival publishing house, Harris walks into her office with a copy of his latest manuscript, ‘The Future Is X-Rated.’
As the book could be the key to saving the company, Lucy backs out of the deal with Jack. She reminds Harris of the terms laid out in the agreement he signed with her father, one of which stipulates that he has to help with the book’s promotion.
Harris reluctantly agrees and together, he and Lucy embark on a book tour to share his latest novel with the masses.
Does the book tour go well?
Harris, who clearly isn’t happy about joining Lucy on the tour, is keen to sabotage the book readings he is forced to undertake.
He urinates on his books, recites the word “bullshit” instead of reading the text from his book’s pages, and generally acts miserable every time he has to perform in front of a group of onlookers.
Surprisingly, despite his bad behaviour, Harris is a hit! He strikes a chord with his millennial audience as they enjoy his unruly actions and antagonistic demeanour. Admittedly, they aren’t that keen on buying his books but thanks to their social media fixations, word of Harris gets out when he starts trending online.
The fact that Harris has become something of an internet sensation is good news for Lucy and she decides to capitalise on this by asking young people to record snippets from his book. After uploading this footage on YouTube, she is given the marketing boost she needs to sell the book that Harris has written.
Does Lucy make enough money to save her company?
Thanks to the sales of Harris’s book, Lucy starts to make enough money to save the publishing company. However, her priorities change after finding out more about the author’s past.
As their road trip continues, the two start to become friends and she learns more about his history. She finds out about Elizabeth, Harris’s former wife and how it was she, and not Lucy’s fraudulent father, who was responsible for editing Harris’s most acclaimed novel, ‘Atomic Autumn.’ She learns of Elizabeth’s tragic death and how Harris then took out a line of credit to save the house that he and his wife lived in together.
Lucy then discovers that she isn’t the only one with financial problems. She finds out Harris doesn’t have the means to pay back the loan he took from the bank and that he might have to sell his house to dig himself out of trouble.
So, rather than save her company, Lucy decides to use the money from the book sales to save Harris’s house instead.
Does Lucy lose the publishing company?
Without the means to keep her company afloat, Lucy is forced to sell it to Jack Sinclair.
But despite this, Lucy’s career as a publishing editor does not end. When Harris dies, Lucy finds a note and a key that he has left for her. The key leads to his attic where there is 40 years’ worth of unpublished manuscripts.
With access to Harris’s life’s work, Lucy has all she needs to continue her future in the publishing field. So, while she may have lost the company that she took over from her father, she is still able to live out her career dreams.
Read More: Best Sellers Movie Review
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