Jack McCall (Eddie Murphy) is a glib, motormouthed literary agent who's currently devoting his shameless hustle to hooking a big fish client, nondenominational New Age guru, Sinja (Cliff Curtis), while Jack's wife (Kerry Washington) and child languish in neglect. In American screen comedies, the hard-working, career-oriented husband is invariably set-up for a lesson in What Really Matters, and sure enough the credited screenwriter here is Steve Koren, who has delivered this sort of high-concept home-truth fable before, to significantly greater effect, in Click. Rather than a magic remote control, in A Thousand Words (shot in 2008 and long-shelved) Jack is visited by a tree that sheds a leaf for every word he speaks or writes. Sinja, versed in such mystical matters, advises Jack that when the last leaf falls, he will die, and so Jack must measure the value of his words for the first time, until Murphy inevitably screws on his earnest face and goes about setting his life right. In theory, enforced muteness should be a golden opportunity for Murphy to rubberface his way through some silent clowning, though just one brief scene--a therapy session composed only of exchanged glances--tallies a laugh, thanks to a simplicity that's just about absent everywhere else.