In the movie, due out July 31st, Segel plays author David Foster Wallace who tells his life story to journalist David Lipsky who is played by Jesse Eisenberg. It is based on Lipsky’s book.
Kyle Smith wrote in the New York Post, “The script is so full of acute observations that I found myself scribbling down the whole movie as I was watching. Wallace says dogs are better than women because although (he stresses) he doesn’t have sex with the beasts, he can avoid the worry that he’s breaking their hearts.
“He doesn’t have a TV because he knows he would watch it nonstop, and says TV is the worst addiction of his life (though “Infinite Jest” deals heavily with drug abuse). He’s wary of fame because years toiling as a literary novelist were only endurable because he convinced himself that the acclaimed writers weren’t any good; now that he has joined the ranks of the well-known, he is suffering from cognitive dissonance. He disputes any notion that wearing a headband all the time is an “affectation;” it’s more like a “foible, ” he says, one of his many defense mechanisms.”
The Hollywood Reporter said, “While The End of the Tour is structured as a quasi-road movie with a post-mortem framing device, in many ways, this is not inherently cinematic subject matter. The film considers such intangibles as the illusory bond of friendship between ambitious interviewer and celebrated subject, professional envy, the loneliness of writing, the mental transference of reading, and the sheer exhilarating buzz of stimulating two-way conversation.”
“It also doesn’t shy away from the great themes that defined Wallace’s work, solitude in first position. It adopts the late writer’s perspective as the apologetic representative of a privileged, over-educated generation frequently destined to find disappointment in achievement. And it conveys the prescience of his vision of evolving information technology, foreseeing a future in which smart people would be in danger of spending their lives sitting alone, “immersed in pure unalloyed pleasure.” Essentially, this is a film about existential emptiness, and yet it’s beautiful and alive, as filled with humor as it is with melancholy.”