Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper, Face from The A-Team movie) is a writer with apparently terminal writer's block. He's gotten a big advance to write his book but he can't get a single word down in the page. He looks like he's been living on the street but he actually has an incredible crappy apartment, just one level up from the street. He has a beautiful girlfriend, Lindy (played by the lovely Abbie Cornish) who finally, as her career as an editor is taking off, dumps him. How could things get worse for Eddie?Here's how. He bumps into his ex-wife's low life brother, Vernon, whom he hasn't seen in 7 years. Vernon offers Eddie a pill, a pill which he says will open Eddie's mind to it's full potential. Why Vernon has such a pill, where it came from, or why Eddie would believe anything Vernon says, are never explained. But Eddie says, how can things get any worse and takes the pill. Suddenly everything is clear. He cleans up his apartment, screws the landlord's wife, while helping her write a term paper for her law course, and gets about half his book written. But the next morning, he's the same old dull-witted Eddie.
The rest of the film concerns Eddies rise to fame, after he improbably manages to score a large supply of the pills. The drug is called NZT.
If you can buy the premise, that a drug could unlock the full potential of your brain and make you a genius in 30 seconds, then you can over look the other improbabilities and go with the flow. Cooper is engaging in the role, easily moving back and forth between shambling idiot and world-beater genius. Robert Di Niro, plays a Wall Street kingpin, who takes Eddie on when he sees the kid's potential. Di Niro is pretty much a caricature of avarice but he's De Niro, so he pulls it off pretty well. I don't remember seeing Cornish in anything before but I see that she's in the upcoming Sucker Punch (which is another good reason to see that).
The movie was enjoyable enough that we left our disbelief at the door.