The End of the Tour (a movie review)

I didn’t read the non-fiction book, Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, on which this movie is based, but The End of The Tour is an enjoyable film that stars Jason Segel as the legendary author David Foster Wallace and Jesse Eisenberg as journalist and fellow writer David Lipsky. The movie begins in 2008 with Lipsky receiving disturbing news about Wallace. I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with either or both of these writers, but I don’t want to spoil anything. So, let’s just say the news Lipsky receives has him thinking back to his experience interviewing Wallace 12 years previously.

The movie flashes back to 1996, when Wallace goes through a rigorous tour schedule of marketing his highly acclaimed, 1,100-page fiction novel, Infinite Jest. Set in a North American dystopia, the book encompasses several themes that include addiction and recovery, suicide, family relationships and entertainment, among others. A reporter for Rolling Stone magazine, Lipsky accompanies Wallace for the remaining five days of this extensive-multi-city tour that Wallace has been on for the last few weeks.

The conversation between the two is the focus of the film and you gain some insight into the two writers’ lives and anxieties and concerns about writing. If you are an aspiring writer yourself, this excellent film can easily deflate you if you allow yourself to be shadowed by such giants. However, if you simply admire good writing and the writing process, then you will come away feeling entertained.

I watched this movie mainly because I think Jesse Eisenberg makes many of the films I’ve seen him in interesting. Jason Segel proved to be very good in this movie too, but I’m used to seeing him in lighter fare movies. Listed below are the films I’ve seen where both actors appear. I ranked them in the order that I found to be the best.

Jesse Eisenberg
The End of the Tour
The Double
Now You See Me
The Social Network
To Rome with Love
American Ultra
Zombieland
The Education of Charlie Banks
Adventureland
Why Stop Now?
30 Minutes or Less
Solitary Man
The Hunting Party
Night Moves
The Village

Jason Segel
The End of the Tour
The Five-Year Engagement
I Love You, Man
Gulliver’s Travels
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Jeff, Who Lives at Home
Slackers
The Muppets
Friends with Benefits
Knocked Up
This is the End

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